10,000 Hands

Morgan Bicca painting Putti Ceiling Square

In my head, I have often fancied myself a lone wolf. If I was a musician, I would be the singer-songwriter with my guitar slung over my back, booking my own gigs and loading up my gear at the beginning and the end of the night on my own, wondering if anybody even understands what I do, or why.

While this “violin solo” of a narrative makes my inner martyr feel like a hero, There is equal truth in the fact that, in my experience, humans (in general) are amazing. They LOVE to be helpful. They WANT to help out someone who wants to bring forth a delightful creative offering. I don’t always feel amazing myself: I am not the best artist, or the best at marketing, or even the nicest artist out there. But yet, every year, dozens of people take a risk on me and my work. They pay me to paint the precious vertical real estate in their home, their business, or in their community. They risk their reputation to refer me to other people looking for an artist. They pay me a deposit, trusting me to return to create something beautiful.

One of my favorite songs, my anthem really, is 10,000 Hours by Macklemore. Ironically, I looked up the lyrics for the first time just now and realized I had the words of the chorus, the song I have been belting out at the top of my lungs for the past five years while I drive, completely wrong. I have been singing “10,000 Hands, they carry me” because that felt true to me. I feel carried by 10,000 hands every day. The people who make my lunch, who stop by my mural and tell me it looks great, keep up the good work, the person who runs after one of my printed source images for me as it blows down the street. I work alone, but I am supported daily by so many hands, hands that pay me, hands that trust my work, hands that encourage me along, hands that make food for me. I sang “10,000 hands : they carry me”, because that is how my life feels.

I suppose I never imagined that 10,000 ANTS could ever carry out the level of “supported” that I feel. I think I will keep singing the lyrics as I imagined them to be, so that I can keep my anthem the same.


Ten thousand hours felt like ten thousand ants
Ten thousand ants, they carry me
Ten thousand hours felt like ten thousand ants
Ten thousand ants, they carry meNow, now, now
This is my world, this is my arena
The TV told me something different I didn’t believe it
I stand here in front of you today all because of an idea
I could be who I wanted if I could see my potential
And I know that one day I’ma be him
Put the gloves on, sparring with my ego
Everyone’s greatest obstacle, I beat him, celebrate that achievement
Got some attachments, some baggage I’m actually working on leaving
See, I observed Escher, I love Basquiat
I watched Keith Harring, you see I study art
The greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint
The greats were great ’cause they paint a lot
I will not be a statistic, just let me be
No child left behind, that’s the American scheme
I make my living off of words
And do what I love for work
And got around 980 on my SATs
Take that system, what did you expect?
Generation of kids choosing love over a desk
Put those hours in and look at what you get
Nothing that you can hold, but everything that it is
Ten thousandTen thousand hours felt like ten thousand ants
Ten thousand ants, they carry me
Ten thousand hours felt like ten thousand ants
Ten thousand ants, they carry meSame shit, different day, same struggle
Slow motion as time slips through my knuckles
Nothing beautiful about it, no light at the tunnel
For the people that put the passion before them being comfortable
Raw, unmedicated heart no substitute
Banging on table tops, no subs to toot
I’m feeling better than ever man, what is up with you?
Scraping my knuckles, I’m battling with some drug abuse
I lost another friend, got another call from a sister
And I speak for the people that share that struggle too
Like they got something bruised
My only rehabilitation was the sweat, tears and blood when up in the boothIt’s the part of the show where it all fades away
When the lights go to black and the band leaves the stage
And you wanted an encore but there’s no encore today
‘Cause the moment is now, can’t get it back from the gravePart of the show it all fades away
Lights go to black band leaves the stage
You wanted an encore but there’s no encore today
‘Cause the moment is now, can’t get it back from the grave

Take care,

Morgan