Sometimes it can be difficult to face events with equanimity. It is not a difficult concept to grasp that one cannot with any certainty predict the future, yet the brain often seems to do just that, jumping ahead to negative outcomes manufactured out of its fears. Never mind that, again and again, the brain has watched the universe unfold in beautifully unexpected ways that delight and inform; still it jumps to fear, blame and anger instead of openness and patience.
When I encounter difficulty, my first instinct is to overcome it with strength. Yet usually I find that first instinct to be mistaken. Usually the difficulty will resolve itself when given time to do so. Usually the exertion of strength leads to imbalance and recurrence of difficulty – unless strength is used to curb the urge to swift action.
Swift action is useful when faced with a real danger. However, when my “fight or flight” response is triggered by baseless fears, the swift action that may result will often produce negative results. In truth, one cannot truly recognize danger when they are afraid of it. I find that when true danger arises the best response is to ignore all emotions and look mindfully, with clear, calm eyes on what is taking place. Then my response can be sensible.
The feeling of urgency to take action usually comes from the ego clinging to some desired outcome. To free myself, I detach myself from these and leave myself open to what the universe will bring.
Continuing in the vein of making music with my betters, I will be sitting in with the Tracy Clark Trio at Brothers Restaurant in Brookline, Massachusetts tomorrow night (Thursday, November 5, 7 PM to 9 PM). I am playing two pieces with them and the rest of the time carousing with friends. Bound to be fun. I’ll have to wait and see if I make it into work on time the next day. I’ll certainly try.
Coming up Sunday will be the next rehearsal for my upcoming studio date. I will be producing a recording and I will call it “Fancy Hat” after one of the pieces. I am sure no one will be surprised at the eclectic nature of the material. :)
At work things continue to change. I am in the midst of an interesting transition there, and see other changes happening on the edges of my circles as well. I am doing more training and less data entry – a challenging and welcome development. At the same time I see the forces of inertia rising to conflict with the change. All very interesting.
Change is exciting (if not a little scary). As usual, the I Ching counsels admirable traits like equanimity, acceptance, balance, patience, reticence – well you get the idea. It comes from the land of “Good luck, bad luck: who knows?”
I’ll keep you posted.
So, as I go forward with recording some of my work with two groups of friends at some considerable personal expense, I know the odds of any of these intellectual/emotional children of mine amounting to anything is less than minimal. (Unlike my real children who have all turned out to be very impressive individuals in my totally unbiased opinion.) Yet I can’t help thinking that perhaps some movie producer will like my lyrics or some company that hawks on-hold music will like one of my melodies, or the combination thereof might attract a relatively small (yet substantial) following. For if any or all of these occurred I would be justified in pursuing that which I love to do.
However, the love is, in fact, enough. My history proves that I will keep producing music no matter what, so I may as well accept that and all the consequences, even if it means I part with money to give my musical babies their best shot at a good and fruitful life.
Anyway, we will be recording in December and looking to release early in the New Year. I’ll let y’all know what dive I rent to have the CD release party. I don’t really believe in CD’s, but I’ll make some as an excuse to have a party. :)
Life is change; embrace life.
Things grow in unexpected places. It is the way of the Universe. If one open one’s eyes, one can see this unexpected growth and welcome it, no matter where it is in celebration of life in all its manifestations.
Too Klez For Comfort has grown to become a federation of musicians with the depth to field a viable ensemble for almost any venue at almost any time. There is more 30’s swing and Latin flavor in the repertoire. And it performs with more confidence and fluency. I am honored to play my part.
Unclaimed Freight continues to evolve, all players bringing an influence, pulling the band in various directions within the broad envelope of rhythm and blues and jazz. The horns add texture and excitement. Again, I am honored to play my part.
My own garden of music continues to grow as I more deeply explore the use of vocals and lyrics, and beats from cultures less familiar to me. I expect to have some finished recordings to share by the beginning of 2016. I have attracted amazing musical friends of all ages and I am honored and blessed to be able to make music with them.
Different, yet the same, I continue, as do you. I wish you peace and joyful surprise in your times to come.
I have been bandying about the idea of a blues jam but have not settled on a venue. That it is not unfolding of its own accord is a sign to me that it is probably not the right time. So I will bide and wait and work on expanding my community of musicians. I’ll let you know how that goes.
In the mean time I produced this music video about ‘throwing people under the bus.’ It got some laughs and it was fun to make. :) I have started work on a new music video that will involve a dancer. I’m excited about the project. The theme is basically, ‘we are more than we appear to be.’ The music is well along, but the dancer will need to rehearse her part and then we will need to shoot.
While I continue to feel drawn in different directions musically, I feel myself settling in on producing an mainly instrumental album. Anyway, that’s where I am right now. We’ll see where it goes. As I practice both trombone and voice I hope to improve on both fronts, and since I enjoy these activities I am also, of course, having a great time.
In other news, I wrote this article on field reversing the Adams Rite 4510 Latch if, like me, you suffer from an addiction to door hardware.
Everything is feeling the severity of what will surely be known here in New England as “the winter of 2015.” We had three (or four? I forget now) consecutive Mondays that featured at least a foot of new snow. If one did not dread Mondays before, this winter has provided us with yet another reason to do so. But because we New Englanders are stubborn and ornery, this very weather is one of the reasons we choose to live here.
The weather has put a dent in my rehearsal schedules. In fact it looks like I will have attended only one rehearsal the entire month of February. Luckily a gig at a private party with Unclaimed Freight mitigated an otherwise total loss in the live performance department. I have made myself useful working on my own music to record in the studio sometime in the undefined future.
DHI published another article of mine in Doors and Hardware magazine this month: “Butcher, Baker, Door Hardware Technician: It Can Take a Village to Fix a Door”, about the eclectic knowledge and cross-trade skills often needed to diagnose and treat today’s door and door hardware issues. I’ll republish it sometime in March somewhere, I’ll let you know.
Over at The Poetry Locksmith we continue to enjoy a variety of work by Donal Mahoney, and perennial contributors Carol Hamilton, Samuel Vargo, Christopher Hivner and others have returned with more of their fine work as well. In addition we welcomed new poetry contributors Genevieve Barrons and Lana Bella. Please stop by and read these intriguing poets.
Word has it we will soon be accepting works of short fiction as well as poetry. I’ll let you know about that, too.
May your winter be filled with the Creative.