Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"If You're Gonna Do It, You May As Well Do It Right."

This is a sentiment I hear from a litany of customers each day. This, or at least something very similar. The context of this sentiment is what makes it disturbing, as it refers to the piling on of whip cream, addition of extra chocolate, the use of half and half and whole milk. Often, such a statement is delivered by people who are quite overweight, as if said statement were already not bad enough with its subtle themes of entitlement.

It is an attitude like this, when applied in this way, that gets the aforementioned people to the place where they are now. When seen an entirely different light, there is a certain wisdom to the statement of "If you are gonna do it, do it right." If you are going to live this life, you should do it well by treating your body with respect, so as to enjoy this life for as long as possible. Some people who live their life with the opposite sheen on this statement are among the people that live until 55, thanks to congestive heart failure.

So, do it right, and in the process of respecting your body, you do not have to sacrifice your mind - your mind's desires for chocolate and french fries need to be met every once in awhile. Failure to met these wishes, according to dietary experts and the personal experience of a great many people, results in a spiral toward the other direction. This is simply another example of one of the rules of common sense - everything is best in moderation.

That even goes for exercise. But for now, many of the people coming to my coffee counter could do better applying this idea in order to avoid whip cream overdose.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

"Closer to the Bone" by Kris Kristofferson

Visual (but not in a way that screams 'descriptive poetry')

Musically, there is not much to make this song wildly different from many of it's peers. The soft guitar strumming and banjo picking in the background are things that I have heard before on many occasions. Even the lyrics - very enjoyable, but not wildly different, or pushing of any boundaries, a concept much too revered in much of artistic pursuit these days.

So what, then, makes me want to put this song on repeat, shut my eyes, kick up my feet and float along with it? The person delivering the song. Each person carries their own background and information, and injects it into the way the deliver their craft. The instrumentals and lyrics, however simple and non-revolutionary, carry their own special pull because of the individual experience craftily and honestly poured into the work. I can hear experience in Kristofferson's voice, I can hear the rawness - he is not concealing anything.

In a world full of radicalism for radicalism's sake, a small, simple and honest piece of music such as this is truly refreshing. I can be told time and time again that 'it has been done before,' only to pass of this assertion in favor of being able to listen better. Yes, maybe similar things have been tried before, but locality is what really makes anything. In a world continually globalizing, I am seeing, hearing and feeling the importance of 'think global, act local,' and yes, that even applies to my little music-listening experience.

Seek out all the knowledge you can, as wide-spread as possible. Know what is out there, what is happen. Then, use these things to figure out where you stand and how they can be personal for you, on an individual level. Knowledge may be wide-spread, but experience is not. It happens where you are. Purveyors of virtual entertainment may argue otherwise, but I find it not so. Back to the 'it has been done before,' idea, I offer the idea of contextualization. I have only been on the planet since 1985. 'It' has not happened while I have been around. In addition, 'it' has come out of a whole new set of circumstances, as the way we interact with one another, gather information, live in general, has naturally experienced a whole host of changes, a simple reality of the passing of time, since 'it' first happened. New technologies, political thoughts, sociological structures. To think that a form of art would have the same impact on people now as it did even just 20 years ago is actually entirely ridiculous.

So here is an ode to the experience seekers. I listen to, look at, touch and experience the things that draw me in. Folk music is a new, transformative experience for me. There are legions of people out there for whom jazz dance would be a new, transformative experience. Note the overuse of the word 'experience.' As I see it, the experience delivered is just as, if not more, important than the search for the next most unique and never-seen thing. If this things does not speak to the people observing, what is the point?


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year

My yearly ritual of creating New Year's Resolutions is again complete. Below is the product of my toiling - hope something in here inspires you too!

New Years Resolutions 2010
Set to "Soweto" by Abdullah Ibrahim

- Dedicate time and resource toward living the way you wish
- Spend more time actually enjoying your senses
- Establish a morning routine
- Personal style = doing what feels good

- Allow personal and professional interests to blossom and inform one another
- See life as a fluid stream of happenings that you are both informed by and inform
Trust your instincts
- Be actively present in the world around you
- Embrace change in yourself and others as simply another way in which the world unfolds
- Seek out a sense of groundedness that serves as both a base for adventure and a point of balanced return
- Allow space for moment to become what they will, free of limitation