Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Daily Dose #12 (06/09/11)


When you decide to play music as a career, other than the fact that you have to be a little crazy to make that a life choice in the first place, you also quickly find out a few truths about that quest. And some truths take time to develop, but they always lead you to the same conclusion.

You are on a pathway with no destination. You never "arrive" at a static goal. You are a searcher, and the only way to excel at your craft is to keep searching until you die.

It's not like going to school and getting an alphabet soup of credentials following your name that will provide some sort of stability for you as you spend your time on the planet, or define you for the rest of your life.

The whole concept of being "goal oriented" is turned sideways. There is no goal. You just have to stay curious, and maintain that curiosity as you move through your time on earth. You can't stay static, because stasis is the kiss of death. You have to be a sleepless shark, constantly moving forward, and constantly targeting knowledge to be devoured, digested, and eventually organically find its proper place in your file cabinet as you try to craft a unique voice.

What you leave in your wake in terms of creative output are just roadside snapshots of where you were at the time. By the time people become aware of those snapshots, you're already way gone down the road.

Its exhausting, and its a slightly paranoid mindset. It certainly isn't "normal" by any conventional standard.

I have many ideas for this blog, and this medium... its a little freer than making music, and its a little more of an "action" medium. You create, you edit a bit, and you click the "publish post" button. It's just a quickie verbal and mental snapshot, and with the "365 blogs in 365 days" parameter that I've set for myself, these snapshots can't be gussied up to the point of having the life squeezed out of them through over-analyzation.

Hopefully some feedback will occur and over time, those snapshots just might serve to tell a story of more consequence.

But everything's a trade off. When you play one of your songs in front of people, you know right away whether or not you are on the right track. People either dig it or they don't, and you are able to collect that critical information in real time. Be it wild roaring applause, tepid and polite "he makes the putt" type of clapping, or the sound of crickets chirping in a room full of people, you know where you stand when you're standing in front of an audience.

Getting that type of feedback in real time is extremely valuable, and when its the "roaring" type... extremely validating as well. I will not lie about that folks.

But at this point in my life, the prices I have to pay to get myself into those situations are too high.

I don't get that type of energy and reciprocal feedback loop when I'm typing in a garret, alone, and then kicking creations out of the crow's nest to fly around the intrawebs. But frankly, I'm more then OK with that.

I like trying to be normal, and leading a normal existence. Its may seem boringly mundane to some, but its all new to me, and still has the thrill of new car smell.

I get to go to bed at a reasonable hour. Spend time with loved ones on weekends. Kiss someone I love on New Year's Eve instead of playing "Auld Lang Syne". Relax.

Writing prose is a newly discovered skill for me. Its like starting all over again. It has many of the same aspects as studying and playing music, as far as the "you never will arrive at a goal" dynamic. All I can do is keep writing, keep studying the craft, and try to get better at it.

And though it is vastly different then the usual carrot and stick perpetual motion machine that I've been immersed in for 35 or so years, both disciplines share similarities.. It's more internal, and yet it still can be can still make a difference, and you can still affect changes in your environment. You can still stand for something bigger than yourself.

But I don't have to pay for the ability to do so with pounds of my own flesh. Just turn the computer on, get lost and let go of ego for a few hours while making something out of nothing, and click the "publish" button.... and then go mow the lawn, because now I have the time to do that type of stuff, instead of being chained to a piano, a computer, a public personna or theatrical character, a false narrative of mean-girls-in-high-school gossip, or a self-definition that no longer accurately defines you.

At the end of a year of doing this, one thing is certain. A body of work will be accrued, and for anybody following the creation of that body of work, they get to see it happen in real time. That's a different type of immediacy, and a different type of intimacy with the creations, and the creative process.

These blogs are auto-biographical in nature, but I won't be able to sustain that for 365 days. My life may have been interesting, but not that interesting, not even to me. This thing is going to change radically over the next year, and I can see that. It's like a big invisible roller coaster. The ride has commenced, but you have no idea what's in store for you.

I'm just a baker, baking bread... I'm going to try to infuse that bread with enriching nutrients. If there is some kind of sustenance available to you, tear off a piece for yourself and pass the loaf to somebody else. Sharing is caring, and this world could use a lot more of that dynamic these days.
Creating and sharing is just the first step of a process that I hope will be noticed, and then replicated within individual reader.

It really isn't my job to close that deal with you like Ron Popeil, however. I'm not "setting" it for you to "forget it".

I'd like to do my part in building a tribe of like minded individuals that are truly aware of a shared sense of responsibility. That's the true purpose of the mythic conceptual land of "Hungaria" represents to me. This may be the "Daily Dose's" true purpose as well... but it really remains to be seen at this point.

That decision of type kind of participation has to happen within yourself based on the contents of this blog and the impressions you are left with: Only you can do that.

It isn't my job anymore.





Jack O said...

While not a musician, this one (like some of the others) have cords that resonate with myself. I understand the need for feedback... perhaps everyone does at some level. The feedback on my photos drives the process. Without the comments, there are less reasons to take them. I do try not to let the comments drive the photos however...just the process. Keep writing George.

Lor said...

I'd like to reserve a seat near the front and a daily slice of've made this a ride for anyone that reads and a type of nutrient for the soul...and only when it's fed can you fuel the power to take what is internalized and bring it to the light of day....Thanks for breakfast!

Cathy VanPatten said...

I'm loving your blog, George, and if I ever get back to writing my own (Magpie Waltz, sadly neglected!), I'm going to link to yours.

The greatest thing about writing, and writing regularly, is that you cannot fail to improve the more you write. And you are already quite a good writer--you know from a compelling narrative and a good metaphor! And I should know! LOL!

Cathy said...

I am thoroughly enjoying your blogs! I feel like I am finally (?) getting to know you after all these years. Back in the day, you seemed stand-off-ish (now I know why) and it was difficult to really talk because you were working (and we were always in bars...). I love the way you think, and how you see the connections between seemingly random events and occurrences. Your passion for the Greater Good and for s sense of community is something we need these days.

In a nod to Lor's comment...thanks for breakfast! Muah!!

Loree said...

I hadn't looked back at this blog until today....Thanks to Cathy, I don't feel so bad that I had such a misplaced opinion of the person, George Rossi....I'm so very glad and impressed that I'm having the opportunity to have that opinion challenged. Come to think of it...I don't know if I would have really had the ability to appreciate your "passionate" self. Strange how the universe doesn't always "give you what you want....but sometimes gives you just what you need!"

Anonymous said...

I like this. I'll subscribe. I can relate. I lasted about 25 years doing music and nothing else, every day. Then I stopped. I couldn't think of one more good reason to write one more song. That was a weird time, the stopping. I'm writing now too among other things. Keep writing, George. I'll keep reading.

Diana Cunningham said...

Interesting that you do not see that lack of reaching an ultimate goal outside of music, well, let's say outside of artistic endeavors. I think anyone that wishes to be the best they can be, or even better than they can be, at any profession or body of work or as a human is in the same boat. If we don't keep swimming toward being better, with different approaches, input and ideas, we sink. In reading this, I see my own efforts in my own profession and in my own life. I believe that for all humans of the thinking and feeling kind never stop striving from better to best. I had a professor long ago that considered that failure to strive to be better and grow to actually be death. Anyway, I believe all of us can take a lesson from this piece. Thanks, Georgie.