I’ve been on a brief hiatus from blogging with the roller coaster of life that is New Student Outreach. I think its safe to say that the past month has been a whirlwind and a blur, but thankfully, it wasn’t as bad as last year, where I became physically sick after overloading close to 80 hour weeks. But a lot has happened… and the rabid dogs that are the thoughts roaming in my head…. need to be tamed. So hence this entry, which may have the appearance of random musings, but I can assure you that they are not… I just don’t know exactly why I’m musing in this order.
1.) The goal line stand that is my life.
So two weeks ago, the bears defeated the Eagles in dramatic fashion. It was the end of the game, fourth and goal on the one line, and the Philly offense was looking like it was going to pull off a come frome behind win. And the bears defense put on a marvelous goal line stand where it stopped Phily from getting into the endzone and went on to win the game.
That pretty adequately describes how the past month of my life has been. My schedule and the things I have to do are like the threatening Philly offense and I’ve been forced to play defense… pinned deep in my own territory. I have a ton of things to do (even this blog entry I would say could be considered therapeutic, well-intentioned but ultimately shameless proscrastination). And my mind is filled with all the things that have to be done. I try to play some offense, but I’m like an impotent rookie quarterback trying to get the offense going, but consistently forcing to punt. My defense, isn’t that bad, but at the end of the day I gotta wonder: how long can I hold up. Get the offense going!
I would love to be like the Patriots offense of 07-08, where they were constantly on offense and Tom Brady was strategically, surgically picking apart enemy defenses and racking up points. I think to do that, I need to get on top of my schedule and increase my productivity for one, but I think also, in a supernatural way maybe I need God to help me clear the clutter or tame the dogs that swirl in my head. But then again, I don’t want my life to be tame, and I’ve in some ways enjoyed the craziness that has been my past 30 days. Anyways, if its any encouragement, Kyle Orton had a kick butt game on Sunday, throwing for 300 yards and two touchdowns. Maybe there’s hope for anybody! =P
2. The Tamagotchi that Never Had a Chance
Do you ever stay up late at night unable to sleep because you’re thinking about something? It could be something significant in your life, good or bad, you could be caught up in excitement, frustration, sadness, anger, confusion… but the result is that it completely occupies a huge space in your mind for an extended period of time. Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever been lost in your thoughts or had a decision or upcoming situation that you couldn’t help but wrestle with internally? Do you mull over things a lot?
If you do, I’m happy for you. But I realized this month that I have no idea really what it means to do any of those above things. The idea of mulling over something is a foreign concept… like body boarding or playing the accordian. I think about all the intense decisions in my life or really tough moments I’ve had to go through, and I can’t recall a time when I’ve really mulled it over for an extended period of time. Sure I think hard and wrestle with stuff from time to time, but it never keeps me up at night… my mind is always moving somewhere back and forth.
I think that’s why I love music and not analyzing or dissecting music… but the very present-tense quality of music. When I listen to music or perform music, all that matters to me is the here and now… there’s such an immediate quality, the ups and the downs, the roller coaster ride of harmony and dynamics. And after you play or sing something, its gone… and then there’s something else to sing. That’s how my mind works. There’s something, then there’s something else. I don’t really like that, but I can’t help it.
That’s why I’m a sucky composer and not the greatest at teaching music… that requires lots of reflection, going back replaying, thinking, analyzing. But listening to beautiful music or improvising, all that matters is the here and now… there are themes and impressions you hold onto, but its never debilitating or confining, but rather a framework of going from beat to beat, measure to measure chord to chord.
I love music because when its done right, when people really feel the music, no matter what genre or style, every part fo your mind, heart and body is stimulated… you heart, your mind, your emotions, your thoughts, your heart beats faster, there’s dissonance then resolution, there’s resolution and ambiguity, your body moves to the groove. When the music is good, there’s no need to analyze, think, question… you just EXIST in the moment.
I think about the musical experiences that have rocked me to the core. I think about sitting in the front row of Pick-Staiger Auditorium listening to Von Freeman play over Cherokee with such ease. The notes just flow over you like a soft shower. I think about as a kid listening to principle french horn player from the North Shore Symphony play some concerto… I don’t remember what it was called or what his name was, but I remember what the room looked like, I remember the sound that came out of that instrument it was melted gold. I think about staying up late at night my freshman year of college listening to Jacko’s “Rock With You”… and listening to the horn riffs over and over again… it just felt RIGHT… it was perfect. I think about Whintley Phipps singing “It is Well With My Soul” and how somehow my dirty little room became something other-worldly, something beyond reason… and somehow… I can’t even begin to explain it, but God was there with me, with Whintley….
Anyways, I could go on forever, but ultimately what does this have to do with mulling over stuff and my life? I mean, its not like what I just described is inherently bad… I think its awesome… that’s how I’ve approached my life for 24 years. But for some reason now, I feel like I need a change. To what? OK, the best wayI can explain this is through the Tamagotchi. You remember them, right? They were those digital pets from the 90s. They were this little handheld machine key chain hwere you could feed your critter play with it and basically you wanted to grow it up and not let it die.
Well… to throw another metaphor in the mix… all the thoughts and decisions and emotions in my head are like litte Tamagotchis that need to be nurtured fed. Well not all of them, some fo them are not as important, some shoudl just be killed and disposed of. But there are some Tamagotchis that need to be fed and nurtured so they can mature. When I live my life in a whirlwind of here and now, when my life is like listening to good music… its like adding more and more tamagotchi to my collection every day… none of which are growing or nurtured, but I can just enjoy them each in their infantile state.
(This is getting confusing, I know…. how many metaphors can I mix together? My high school English teacher just fell out of her chair and doesn’t know why)
But all this is to say… I think I’m at a point in my life, where I’d LOVE to stay up all night wrestling with the important stuff that’s in my head. I’d love to mull over life’s issues in such a way that I start to really develop a deeper understanding and analysis of them.
I’m really good at asking people for advice. I’m really good at reading books, listening to podcasts. I’m really good at sharing with people how I’m doing. And all that is like listening to good music. I think for once, I need to get into the business of composing my own music… which is can be arduous, reflective, analytic process. I need to take my Tamagotchi collection, figure out which ones I really carea bout and which ones are truly important and I need to nurture them… feed them!
You know that Austin Powers scene where he gets unfrozen and loses his inner monologue and audibly says all the stuff that should ahve been in his head. Let me tell you something, I have hardly ANY inner monologue. My mind is thinking, feeling, moving, but its not like a singular voice… its like an orgy of voices, songs, scenes, memories, emotions, colors, everything… and when open my mouth to speak (or move my fingers to type) JESUS only knows what will come out. That’s why my friends joke about verbal diharrea. This entry was kinda like that. I didn’t really think at all about writing anything on here. I just wrote what was inside. Is that weird? I could go back an edit all the grammatical mistakes and typos (which I’m sure are plentiful), but I guess this is a taste of what goes on inside…
Anyways, I don’t think I’ll ever have an inner monologue like my introspective, introverted friends, but maybe I can start to tame the rabbid dogs, nurture some key tamaguchis and compose some thoughtful organized music so that I can get off of defense and starting playing some offense.
And that’s all she wrote…