The Essence of Rock

You rock! That rocks! We will rock you!

We hear the rock word tossed around all the time. It’s one of those words that holds some kind of magic, some kind of power. It’s like a spell. Or a deep truth. Or maybe a power word that means much more than it seems.

Being a teenager in the 80’s it was common to hear me shout things like “Billy Idol rocks!” or “Van Halen rocks!”

It was true. It had to be said.

If you had a time machine and listened a little closer you might have heard me speak things like, “That pizza rocks.” “That poem rocks.” or “That tie-dye rocks!”

I know, my vocabulary was limited. But here’s the point…  Rocking is not all about music. Yes, it rocks when that guitarist blasts across outer space as he riffs through his solo. Yes, it rocks when that lyric beams so deep into your heart that you know you’ll feel it forever.

But there’s also rock when a violinist barely scratches the strings or a vocalist whispers a melody so sweet. 

It gets stranger (and sweeter). The rock can also appear in the chocolate chip cookie that your partner makes for you. Or the way your kid smiles. Or in the astonishing curves of the plot twist in your favorite Netflix binge.

So what is the essence of rock, really?

To rock = To move energy. 

Call it spirit, call it whatever you like. When it’s there, we all know it. And when it moves big, the rock shakes your soul.

Sure, it happens in loud music. But look deeper into the world. Listen into the nuances your friend’s dumb joke. Peer into the timeless beauty of the forest. Study the swirl of cream in your morning coffee. 

Sometimes it’s hiding, but the rock is there. Whether in some kind of natural way, like the forest. Or in a way that a human creates.

As artists, musicians, songwriters and creatives, it’s our job to rock.

Seriously. I’m not talking about cranking up the volume, although that helps.

I’m talking about having the courage and vulnerability to go deep when you enter the creative zone. Tapping into your truth, pain, love, tragedy, beauty, whatever— and expressing it the best way you can. It’s gotta be real if it’s gonna rock.

This is big truth. We all can hear the lameness when a singer doesn’t believe in her song. Or when the teacher is just reciting the same old thing. Or when the passion and play has left the room in a business, a manuscript or pretty much anything else.

So crank up it up, even if it’s quiet. Even if it doesn’t make a sound. Because the rock lives within us all. It lives in you. And it’s our job to stir it up and point it into a powerful creation. 


When do you rock?

When do have you felt the rock?


About the Author:

Jeff Leisawitz burns with a mission—to inspire writers, artists, musicians and random creative types to amp up their creativity, heal their hearts and shine in the world. Author. Award winning musician/ producer. Internationally distributed filmmaker. College prof. Photographer. Speaker. Consultant. Not F*ing Around—The No Bullsh*t Guide for Getting Your Creative Dreams Off the Ground is Jeff’s first book.

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