What am I supposed to love more than food? Writing? Maybe. Music? Perhaps. Food is life. But food is also pain. And it’s purported to be a death warrant. My theory is that I can overpower one love with another love. Haha. Now that I write that I see that is silly. Isn’t it a famous truth that love doesn’t work that way? Maybe it’s a typical male interpretation of it. Blocky. Stacking one thing on top of another. You have to invite more love into your life. Love is invitational. Open. Love doesn’t understand turning off or trumping. That’s for the brain. The intellect. Since there seems to be no question that I love food, I must approach it from the standpoint of love relationships. Just listen to what my parents have said about love. That it cannot be analyzed in and out of existence. That it cannot be chosen like an item on a restaurant menu. It finds you, if you’re willing. If you avail yourself. Love. Oh, what a roaming relationship I’ve had with you. What a wild ride. You have been my companion since birth, haven’t you? Will I ever understand the wiles of your ways? You’ve made this life quite interesting. You’ve been a master of misdirection. I’ve used your name in vain many a time, haven’t I? But you’ve led me astray. You’ve given me life, and you will dig my grave. You’ve given me hope, and you lead me to despair and hopelessness. You refuse to guide and teach me – you are buttonlipped. I will miss you and yearn for you when I’m in the throes of death. You are synonymous with meaning. But you are just a word. Nothing more. At least in this context. You are indigestion. You are a hangover. A love hangover, a food hangover. Anything that you have asked me to binge on. You oppose moderation. You oppose a lack of passion.
What’s funny is that I think I will figure this out in a writing spat. i will figure this out and then I will go on my merry way with sufficient wisdom to change my evil ways. To love right. I don’t just write for catharsis, like has been proposed by a few. That is a side effect, really. I write to gain wisdom. Insight. Epiphany. That seems silly, though. Such an innocuous thing, putting words down. How can that make a difference to who I am, to my sheer essence? But what else has made such a difference? Am I supposed to go hiking every day to find wisdom? Am I supposed to go sailing or kayaking? Am I supposed to visit Europe or the Middle East? Am I supposed to volunteer at a soup kitchen? Or for a political organization? Am I supposed to work for a charity? Am I supposed to quit the Naples Philharmonic and try for a solo career? Will those things teach me more about life and love than writing? Am I supposed to write the great American novel? Am I supposed to write a self help book? Am I supposed to go to meditation retreats? Am I supposed to become a teacher in a school? What age group?
It’s funny that I forget how love has burned me. Whether it’s a few hours ago or a few decades ago. I have to forget, though. I have to love love. That’s my nature. That’s my calling. I am called to love. I write to balance some of the excesses of love. That’s one of the things I can do about this overactive love gland. I can’t have it amputated. I think I would die then. I can counterbalance its effects.
That scene in Sleepers. It can haunt me. At times. That is one good reason why I journal. That is one reason I sleep with the XM radio on. Next to my head, yes. Things haunt me. I am affected by things, despite what I let on. That is why I am a good musician. I am affected. I am just not great at understanding and articulating and acting on those things. So I inact. Not enact.
I need friends and lovers to hold my hand. To help stabilize me. To help me walk. Life is too overwhelming otherwise. I can’t fathom the reality of it. Like in Sleepers. I can’t fathom the cruelty. The pleasure in being cruel.
I can’t believe I act tough. I can’t believe I act like I know it all. Do I have to do that in order to get along? In certain circumstances, yes. But I need to weed those out of my life, it seems. I need to find places in the world where I can be true to myself. I think I have done that to some degree.
Being in Thailand this month is once again opening a window for me. Turning on lights inside myself. I can see what hides. What scurries into corners, under carpets.
Maybe music allows for such a shriveled, spontaneous, fractured personality. Maybe music benefits from it. Maybe music requires it. The arts. Larger than life. Your problems, your passions, your dreams, your dips.
It’s nuts. I somehow latched on to one of the few things that flourishes in my insanity. It’s built in to our society. We allow for it.
Maybe I had a perfect childhood. Maybe I pick up everything, good and bod, so it could seem I had it bad. Maybe I am hazy because that’s the way I am.
That’s been my working theory for a long time now. That’s the beauty of theorizing. It is not fact, but it can be your version of fact until a better one trumps it.
I’m a badass. Not for the reasons you think. Depending who you are. It’s the little tiny things. It’s breathing. It’s writing. It’s the little victories. It’s succeeding where I have previously failed. Expressing myself here is an example of an instance where I previously couldn’t find the wherewithal to express myself. I learned, and I forged into unknown territory. I dared. For me, that is worthy of the moniker badass. Exercising control in a situation that tempts me to let loose, to forge directly into a favorite territory of mine, is badass.
In my case, badass doesn’t really look badass to an outside observer. Me acknowledging that I’m badass is badass, too. Standing my ground against someone who thinks they’re a badass is being badass.
Haven’t posted for awhile. Imagine that. It’s a little like coming home though, isn’t it? Maybe my exploration into humanism explains that to some degree. This is a human, not superhuman, exercise and exploration. I never knew it, but I was raised and live my life as a humanist. Not as anything else.
I guess I thought I could notate a couple of discoveries I’ve come upon lately. I unhinged some degree of relief from my left hand pain. I haven’t really verbalized it yet, so it’s a bit foggy. One thing is that the bottom of my hand must be an equal player in this whole exercise. It’s not all about the top. The first realization I had, which I shared with my colleagues, is that the neck is precisely where my thumb wants to be, should be. So I experimented with miming the left hand on thinner, smaller objects, and it seemed to prove my theory out. That was until I tried it on a guitar. Then I realized that there is something else which must be an impediment besides the height of the neck. As it turns out, the width is just as much of a problem, just as on a guitar. Just realizing and acknowledging this issue already helped. Negotiating the obstacle course which is the cello neck will continue to be my task. That is why I started by saying I must give the lower part of the hand great credence in all of this. That is the part which deals with this maze from moment to moment.
The other discovery is regarding another favorite pet peeve of mine – eating. I now see utterly clearly why there are so many fat/chunky people walking around. Restraining yourself from eating til you’re stuffed is just really fucking difficult. And finding that delicate balance between undereating and overeating is nearly un-do-able. I am saying this because I have realized the most obvious thing in the world, the thing I’ve been reticent to admit all these years. You must eat less and move more in order to get to a happy physical state. And when you eat less, you will feel hungry, or at the very least hungrier. So, how horrible is being hungry? Perhaps not so much. Perhaps at my middle age I have discovered worse sensations in life than hunger. Your weight is not a static animal, it is fluid. It is unfair to judge yourself, either positively or negatively, for something that is in a constant state of flux.
So it hasn’t been a fluke or a character defect after all. It is all about duality. Everything I do causes me to react back. Everything done looks for its opposite. Or some kind of contrary reaction, if an exact opposite isn’t available. Ideally, you don’t do anything. You sit and meditate on nothingness. Because once you do something (eat, walk, converse, laugh, cook) you are only asking for it. I suppose you can attempt to keep the doing to a minimum. Or you can constantly be on guard for the reactions. It seems, however, that being on guard can only mean one thing – meditating. All things come back to meditating on nothingness. On the void. I told Cody that that void is the truth, the reality. All else is distraction. Duality equals distraction. All that is dual is nothing more than a distraction, and it’s distracting us from the truth. It’s a game. Do most people see that? Are we doomed? Why do only a select few pursue that truth? Is it because of what I’m reading about sapiens? A little intelligence can only lead to trouble. It takes a greater amount to get out of it. Is wisdom acquired through knowledge and experience, or is it innate? Why is so much wisdom required to stop thinking? Perhaps the daftest among us are also privy to that fact.
The follow up question is whether this knee jerk reacting is hard wired or adjustable. Reading Sapiens, it would appear almost everything is hard wired to some degree or another. Hard wired biologically, socially, ecologically, culturally, and from the distant past or more recently. Maybe the idea of meditating is to unwire ourselves as much as possible. One wonders how deep you can go with that. You look for the deepest part of yourself I guess. It does feel like blogging taps deep parts, and unglues the adhesive causing stuck-nesses in one’s thinking and behaving.
It’s quicksand. The hole that I am constantly trying to dig myself out of. You think you’re up a bit. It’s a hoax. This journal is certainly a good example. How much journaling is enough to give myself that grounding that I can rely on? Does anyone realize just how much I’ve written? A lot. But the hole doesn’t necessarily fill in. My neuroses are signs of digging. They cause me to dig back in. I fill in some dirt, and I shovel it back out. It sounds ridiculous doesn’t it. How can everything be connected in that way? Are we spiritual beings having a human experience? Is that how? Is spiritual another way of saying soulful or emotional? Are emotions the modern day religious terminology? We took our feelings out of a God-based realm and into a scientific metaphor. It’s ironic. If we’re basically talking about the same thing, why the heated debate? Also why do I invest myself in the debate? What do I get out of it?
The point is I feel so weird when I’m released from my neuroses for a time. I can’t stand it. Even though it’s what I know I need. The neuroses are such a source of frustration. Whether it’s God, or journal, or new regiment, or happy distraction, or discipline, when something provides that respite, it saves me for a time. Too bad it’s so temporary. It’s that damn hole.
If I am so cut and dry about my attachment to the cello, it will affect my approach. I noticed some of that today. It reflects in my mannerisms. It’s nice. Every word I write seems to translate to a physical idiosyncrasy. It’s kind of my dream. As much as I’ve enjoyed/loved writing in spaces like this over the years, I never saw an absolutely direct translation to my music. There are undoubtedly indirect correlations, which I’ve adored. It’s been possibly my chief method of improvement as a cellist – growing as a human being.
So with improvements on two fronts, will I again butt up with my usual problem of combining them? Does it take the wisdom of the ages and the patience of Job to handle 2 sources of growth in one moment? What seems to be a possibility is that endeavoring on only one of those is not sustainable as a manner of living. The undone one will always end up undermining the done. If I play the cello well but eat poorly, the ease and naturalness with the instrument will eventually revert under the pressure. If I eat well but play the cello unsuccessfully, the well-balanced eating will eventually fall away.
I know what was bugging George Michael. That voice. That voice from One More Try. It was golden. He could make any sound he wanted. He could evoke any emotion. And of course he was quite good looking. There were probably other exceptional aspects of his early adulthood. These things are not easy to see decay. Maybe the higher you fly, the harder is the fall. You need special people to guide you through the dark and unending mist of aging/growing. I have had many such guides. Even one lovely one who informed me that South Americans and Europeans find bald men sexy.
I can’t forget the feeling of wanting to hang it up. It may be my only hope. When all is lost, you will see the light shining like a tiny dot in the distance. When all expectations are gone, I stop the perpetual block. The block of judgment. The block of ranking. It seemed my friend Monica was gaining that sort of release and wisdom when we played together last season and recently. Maybe you have to play like you don’t care. Maybe I have to do that with more urgency that some others who are physically stronger. There have been other physiological issues in my life that seem to have forced me to live a bit cleaner and wiser than some others. Like I said in the last blog, pain and suffering have been important teachers for me. And it’s not for altruism’s sake. I see the writing on the Wall of Mortality. And I am constantly playing catch-up. More wisdom from another confidante. That life is not stacked in our favor. Which seems to apply to many subjects. On the other hand, we should be feeling lucky that we have the option at least to contemplate and grow. Moreso than the rest of the animal kingdom.