Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Assessment Defeats Happy Disposition

I was cleaning up my study one day. Applying my broom to the tide of debris shed by my half launched, half finished, half million projects when it hit me. Quite transfixed me and made me sit down and type:

I am incredibly lucky. I am blessed with an interest in many things and the skill to accomplish something in many of those areas where I have interest. Luckiest of all perhaps is that most of the little changes to the world that I get excited to work on are even within my financial means to pursue. I could do just about anything to which I brought sufficient will and focus. But I can not learn to ignore or overcome the nagging feeling as I attempt to concentrate on Y, that not doing anything on X would some how lead me to lose X. It is as if potential were as dear and present as one of my arms and I dare not slight any of it. And it has gotten so bad that indeed, I get little done on a host of ideas and projects.

Where am I going wrong? Granted, my pleasure centers fire oddly and connect in whimsical ways to the world. But aside from an instant itch to pick at another task the second the task at hand offers any resistance, why can't I apply to the organization of my own life at least the principles I do grasp? The itch is unconscious only for a minute. Awareness catches on but won't take control.

I see one word that I mistrust, that taints the here and now and makes the flow of my attention a weak current.


That word deserves to be weighed as critically as all the things it has weighed.


peter said...

'I am writing a portrait of you in form of an adagio.' Brahms to Clara Schumann. Brahms 2nd piano concerto is an intersting music choice: a great one, but atypical: its a symphony with piano. I hate to be a critic but listening to it many times I think that Brahms used it to take the symphony beyond what Beethoven schieved with the Choral. And if there's a better recording than Emil Gilels with Eugen Jochum on DG I haven't heard it.

GreenSmile said...

Then I shall get that recording.

Is it known which adagio Brahms refered to?

I should mention that I take some care not to listen to a whole class of works, my very favorites, more often than perhaps two or three times a year. Brahms 2nd piano Concerto is always near the top of this somewhat variable list. Far too many bloggers list what is on their iPod at the moment...I'd sooner hear whats in their waste basket. But off the top of my head, Beethovens symphonies 5,7 [especially the 2nd movement] and 9, Dvorak New World symphony and a few of his works for cello and string quartet, Cesar Frank D Minor symphony,...well, its a long list actually. toward the bottom is Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky about at the tail of this list. Mahler not on the list. Mozart in the middle somewhere. A few pieces by Handle in there somewhere.

Placement on the list is according to how likely the piece is to transport me, to raise the hair on my neck and give me goose bumps. And as for not overdoing it...I think it is a bit like sex: you can't climax continuously. You can't eat chocolate for breakfast lunch and dinner and still find it an appealing treat for dessert.

Thoughts are not words. Music is a language of emotion. Hence music critics are reduced to the equivalent of describing a sunlit garden in braille.