Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I Miss the Innocence.

I may have touched on this before in previous entries...I'm not really sure. I know I talked about it quite a while ago in an entry on my old MySpace blog where I spoke about the Kings of Leon album Because of the Times. I was really thrilled with that album, or thrilled BY that album when it came out, simply because it made me feel some things about a record that I simply had not felt in quite some time (save all your comments about how you liked their first two records better than their new stuff...I quite simply don't care). Listening to that record at that time took me back to a time when music could still surprise me in ways that it doesn't so much anymore, at least not regularly. A time when the thrill of discovering something new, whether it was an album, a band, whatever, was a key experience of life itself. I can't say that's the case these days...Mind you, there are other amazing things in my life that surprise me consistently in really beautiful ways (my wife, God, etc.), but I so miss the innocence of that time in my life (starting somewhere in junior high, probably, and lasting through most of college).

I find these days that one of the biggest things that gets in the way of having these experiences is TIME, or lack thereof. I read a post from Wil Wheaton's blog today where he references a particular phenomenon that writers experience, being that they spend a lot of time doing what appears to be "nothing", when in fact, they are simply making themselves available for inspiration, ideas, etc. to occur. I don't think this phenomenon only applies to writers...I think it applies to most artists/creative people. I think, in order for our art to truly thrive, not only to we have to cultivate those spaces of "nothing", but we also have to actively engage art/music/whatever on an experiential level. Listening is as much a part of my life as a musician as composing or performing is, and I have tried very hard lately to make it a part of the rubric again. Facts are that there simply aren't enough hours in the day to do all of it the way that I would like (O to compose, practice, and listen every day, while also managing to accomplish something that might actually produce some income). The "nothing" time is kind of like the "listening" time, whether it be to music, or our own thoughts, the aether, whatever.

I think that cultivating time also cultivates the opportunity for these magical experiences with art, music, whatever to start to happen again...the time factor is really the only thing that's different for me, most days, from the way I felt when I was 20. I mean, God help me, most days I still don't feel a day over 25, and those who know me know that I'm getting really close to sounding ridiculous making statements like that. I try not to act much older than 25, at least in the way that I approach things enthusiasm-wise. As I sit here, listening to Phish pump through the headphones, I hope and pray that I live long...I still have a lot of living to do. I feel as though life has just begun for me in many respects, and that as I mature in this world, it will not look much like how most people do it. I'm fine with's all YOU PEOPLE out there who are going to have to adjust. Yes, I'm still going to be listening to Phish, Frank Zappa, The Clash and Sonic Youth when I'm 60. Sorry to disappoint. I'm not going to "chill out" and start listening to Sting and Coldplay because it's "respectable old people rock music". As we get older we should start hungering for more and more powerful and visceral experiences, not ones that are less so.

I start to feel an inkling, as I'm typing this, that the experiences I so long for are coming back, maybe just a little. That element is working itself back into my life, in a good way. I have very much come to a place where going after what I want and what is important to me is no longer negotiable. That, coupled with a sense of humility and the knowledge that I'm not really in charge, is the most freeing thing in the world. If I head towards the things that I want and find to be precious, I'll end up where I'm supposed to be anyway.


Crescentius said...

byI know what you mean, though. The new Camera Obscura and God Help the Girl give me that teenage feeling again. Since I swore off illegal downloading, it's easier for me to get that feeling again. Reminds me of the days when I'd hoard my lunch money for 2 weeks to buy a CD.

Mixtape Jones said...

So true. Assigning the music a monetary value probably helps cement its value as an experience.

Jason said...

I happy now to have a justification for all that "nothing" time I enjoyed this afternoon.

Nate said...

Dude, I am not kidding, I am almost brought to tears by this. Because I couldn't feel MORE exactly the same way. It's so hard for me to get out of my own way creatively anyway, but to try to create time and space to do it, without neglecting the people that matter and the things that demand my attention - it's harrowing at best. I just have to believe that if we keep showing up for inspiration, that inspiration will come.