Monday, September 28, 2009


Music is something new to me today. and yesterday it was too. and tomorrow.. well I'm expecting the same. Because in any given moment, there is potential to literally change the way you see the world, because of some words and sounds strung together to seep out the speakers. Could any listening moment ever be identical to another? A song, though heard a thousand times over, must press it's way through the atmosphere before reaching the ear. What if we looked at that process as a sort of mechanism, the air and feeling floating in a space act as a shaper, to take the song as it stands, and press into it the imprint of the present moment, molding it into what it needs to be at that precise point in time. What if we saw each moment not as a passive background, but as an active force that determines how a song would be received by the listener.. not adding or taking anything away from a song, but molding it to be fitted for any given point in time? What if we thought of songs and music as dynamic in that way, never losing power.. then I think we might develop a deeper appreciation for hearing the same song multiple times.

I want to listen so deeply; I used to say I wanted the music inside me. Now I think I want to be inside the music. Saturated and surrounded, complete. Because more than just sounds, music will never run out or end the way that games and fads do.. never leave you the way time always does.

I've been wishing I had another word for it, so I could do justice to what it has become to me. You hear the word 'music' 50 million times a day, but it's an injustice to give just one ordinary, worn out word to something so broad and complex and life-saving. I've always had this dissatisfaction, with lots of things not just music.. this discontentment (near frustration) with the words used often. Especially when referencing things heavy and true, things real and saving, things of the soul, I need something more. It's caused problems before- my unwillingness to concede and be happy with speaking in simple terms. But I'm sorry, it's just that life was not made in simple terms, and I do not feel in simple terms, and so it doesn't seem right to speak as such. I still do, because commonplace verbiage is often just easier, but let it be known I don't like it. Sometimes, I'd rather not speak than say something you've already heard.

Maybe it's like the way it feels when you have a nickname for someone you care about that nobody else calls them- it's something perhaps only you two understand, but it signifies some part of the relationship that is one-of-a-kind, authentic, and grown. Well I think nearly everyone develops something of a relationship with music. And even if there are 50 people listening to the same song, that song will probably play a completely unique role in each individual. For one it triggers a thought in the brain, for another a drop in the pit of the stomach, or a tingle in the hand, or a gasping for breath, or a stream from the eye, or weighted heavy eyelids, or a lessening of pain, or a surge of movement in the limbs..

It can't be enough! To use a single emotionless word to discuss the things of greatest importance to me- like "Friend" or "Love" or "college" or "Music".... So maybe the same challenge poses itself for all of these most intense and significant things: When one (or a few) word(s) is a disservice, all you can do is give in, share & describe what you've been given, and then give back. Do what you can, however possible, to sustain the life and meaning of the things that matter most.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I was just flossing and thinking how it's no fun at all, yet it's so worth doing. I liken it to this whole constellation of things in life that we do, or should do, or try to do, that are no fun in the moment yet have significant positive impact in the long run. Every day I wake up and take part in this world, I realize more and more that much of life is like this- critical and yet not fully, or even hardly, enjoyable in the moment of action. Some of our most basic disciplines in hygeine and health may parallel the need for discipline in other pursuits:

..just as I floss to avoid gingivitis, so do I need to write regularly in search of new ways to view, communicate, and connect with the world

..just as I try to drag myself out of bed to go to the gym, so do I need to set aside time to read consistently and cultivate a learner's spirit

..just as I take vitamins every morning, so do I need to work with my hands when I feel the tingling pulse of creation inside

I think there is some validity and wisdom in all those phrases like "It's not about the destination, it's about the journey" and "It's all about the process." But there are some essential aspects of living that are absolutely nothing about the physical process of doing, but are rather entirely about the end result. Depositing the efforts now to withdraw meaning and growth from later. Investing now (however mundane, ineffectual, or tedious a task may seem) to make small additions that, ultimately, will layer up a life well-lived.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I'm curious, if I asked you to finish the sentence- "There are 2 kinds of people in the world: ____" and you could only choose one answer, what would it be?

I'm still thinking about mine....