“There are two types of writer; those that make you think, and those that make you wonder.” – – Brian Aldiss
I hope to make you wonder. Wonder strikes me as a state more akin to innocense than thinking, which we all do in various endeavors if we’re not doing what we love at the time. There are of course those who have taken the leap to become musicians, or writers, or movie stars and just plain wouldn’t accept no for an answer until the ethers succumbed and granted them their dreams. Approaching age 60, I’m finding with childlike delight that my dreams are far from impossible, and that in fact even the rudimentary beginning actions are something that I can get a huge kick out of, rather than have them enslave me as something I “have to” do.
I know of little that satisfies me as much as sitting in front of a “blank pad” as it were, getting into a nice calm, centered state, and letting ideas and words fly onto the formerly blank space in front of me, especially when I’m allowing my Unconscious do the bulk of the work, with my fingers becoming almost irrelevant. This past January I performed my annual birthday show at the Coffeegrounds in St. Paul, likely the single most blissfully enjoyable performance I’ve had the joy of being connected with.
I suggested the same consequence of my guitar playing as I have with writing in the past – – if I’m truly “plugged in,” my fingers do indeed become irrelevant. The true bliss is in the giving, allowing something higher to be channeled through me to others in attendance with a guitar and vocals being used as the medium, hopefully carrying all of us away feeling at the very least, a little happier than when we all walked in the door. When I perform on stage, I too expect to be entertained by the presence of an audience that essentially has the same goal as me: they’re looking not as much for the medium, but for the feeling the medium, music in this case, can give them.
It took me some time, and a few twists and turns in the road to figure out that writing would be the direction I would take to hopefully fulfill what I do believe is my path of least resistance to a happy life. Until September of last year, the plan was to become a chemical dependancy counselor, until I found out that filling out forms would take up a large portion of my days. Hence the shift over to writing, as I determined years and years ago that one needn’t be a counselor in order to help someone reach their soul.
Still, much like being a counselor, it takes having a person on the receiving end to truly complete the loop of going inside, connecting with my inner self, coming back out, and giving away what I’ve found, and enjoying what I once heard a pitching coach describe as “the cool of the evening,” that after glow of knowing that someone is enjoying something that has been produced not necessarily by me as much as it has been produced through me.
Daily interaction with others provides me with the possibility of several distinctly different blessings: 1) playing music for others, which happens with the least frequency. 2) listening to someone who needs to be listened to, unpredictable frequency, but immensely rewarding 3) Writing and having my work received by another. Hopefully this one will happen weekly. In all three activities, the feeling of well being at the outcome is directly proportionate to how successful I am at “getting out of my own way” and fostering the beautiful, almost palpable “child” that’s born out of the interaction itself, and placing said child squarely in the lap of the recipient. My reward, of course, is in the fact that the energy needs to pass through me first in order to reach anyone else. So it is indeed a selfish endeavor, but I prefer to think of it satisfying the Self of me that begins with a capital “S.”
So my first attempt is complete, and I’m hoping that someone out there, maybe more than one someone will read the words above and feel themselves in a slightly different place than they were upon reading the first sentence. I get paid to work 40 hours a week to provide service to customers. My real pay comes from giving service not only to those who call into my workplace, but to any who may need an occasional broken wing mended regardless of what office or building or outdoor space they’re occupying at the time. According to A Course In MIracles, “it is your job to heal the room.” It’s a job I take very seriously. In the process, I hope I’ve made you wonder.
Write some more.
Good stuff, Michael. Definitely put me in a different and better place. -Zig