Too much to write. Not enough. The thoughts are scattered again, so here they are, again, in pieces.
I'm running around the track.
I'm listening to "Morning" by Beck...The album this is on is one of the best-produced albums I've heard. I've listened to it intensely several times for years. Every corner is considered; it's a beautiful reality. It sounds slower than it used to. I wonder if the pace of activity around me when I used to run to this in NY was syncopated into this and so it seemed faster. I am in a slower pace in CA. I feel the shift. I hear it in conversations. I wonder if I come across as slower now to people in NYC. "This morning, I lost all my defenses...won't you show me the way it used to be."
I turn the corner of the track...The image of a bonsai garden comes to mind. Beautifully crafted reality. It's a dance. For a moment, I think about art work as just an atom that an artist has decided to focus on. A focus on one aspect of reality. A push of reality. How we push reality all day. Through our jobs, through our politics, through our art.
"Love keeps coming back, there's nothing left for me to give." as I listen to Sasha Dobson's latest release "Nothing Left" I'm reminded of not pushing reality. Not doing a one-person piano move through life. Not banging my head against the wall. Not working hard; working smart and letting go.
The lyrics to "A Seventh Heaven" by Gordon Stevens, which I had the luxury of singing on, come to mind. Listening to the track Adam Shulman's playing reminds me of Fred Astaire and Tim Volpicella's guitar turns into a horn or a flute in some moments. Gordon called me the other day to share that he'd been thinking about the lyrics lately. "I cannot see what waits for us, nor feel it, could it transport us? To netherlands sublime, beyond the pulse of time, to stars - A Seventh Heaven - who's to know? Will it come quickly? Must we seek it out? What motivation? Quietly withdraw and tempt stagnation? Risk a fatal move to try and catch a glimpse: of what and when and where and why." I haven't called him back; my pulse has been buried.
In the early 2000s I went to an acupuncturist to deal with sluggish allergies. I told her I'd been running outside to try and break out of the sluggishness. She pointed out that I was allergic to pollen and running in it. She told me my pulse was buried.
Activity - activeness - and cities. For all of my city years, I've always had restorative breaks. In these breaks, I've usually gained a stronger sense of self and my art and what I might offer to the world. And each time I would go back to a city and feel lost in the activity, confused on my direction.
I've realized that I associate being active and action-oriented with feeling worthful. Without action, I am worried there's a deep dark truth to confront: that I'm worthless. It feels silly to write, but that's been the driver possibly my whole life. It's one thing to be productive; it's another thing to be productive because you're scared. And I'm terrified. Of being worthless. Of rejection. It's why I've never pushed an album past the point of recording. You can't lose when you don't try, isn't that the phrase?
So now to figure out worth without busy-ness...value without fear of rejection.
Setting goals helps. Sarajane Case advises setting 4 goals every six months along 4 themes. Career, Health, Happiness, Creativity. I'm not used to thinking about all of these areas at the same time. I've certainly focused on Career and Creativity in swings. Health in swings as well. I've never set a goal for happiness before.
Here are those clarified goals for me by December:
Goal 1: Career - Develop a plan to successfully launch the new music I recorded / Create work rituals that settle me down from busy action-ness into thoughtful progression
Action steps: Finish tracks (contact Eli Crews), Find animator (Talk to Goh Nakamura and Lisa Schatz), Get PR organized (talk to Ryan Hobler), Figure out Artwork, Rework office and music spaces + Create daily routines.
Goal 2: Health
Action steps: Practice Yoga (any amount) daily, Do a full practice of Yoga 1x a week, Continue Running 4x week, Reduce coffee to 1 cup a day, Reduce alcohol to weekends
Goal 3: Creative - Secure a 2019 residency / Be Visible Again ->Reconnect with Past Collaborators - Reach out to New Collaborators
Action steps: Work on the song of Evan Francis' friend that he sent you, Reach out to Nathan Clevenger, Reach out to Sam Sadigursky, Reach out to Lisa Mezzacappa and finally have coffee with her, Build a next live band based off of my new recording and other works, Practice daily (any amount), Actively seek out and listen to things that are new and unfamiliar
Goal 4: Happiness
Action steps: Stop dark dwelling and emotionally freezing and be more present, Actively seek out and make new foods and recipes, Book a babysitter regularly, Start meditating, Start writing on real paper and not just digitally, Go to sleep earlier more often
It feels embarrassing to share these, but there they are.
I was supposed to attach calendar dates to the action steps, but I haven't quite gotten to that. Still in a buried heart beat. "Be-yond the pulse of time."