This was less revelation and more confirmation of how I experience my brain working. Very interesting podcast. Might change the way you work:
Our Workplaces Think We’re Computers. We’re Not. — The Ezra Klein Show — Overcast
“Plunging Into the Abyss. As even our smartest friends fall to conspiracy fever, we have to accept it’s not about logic or politics, but addiction.”
Plunging Into the Abyss by Douglas Rushkoff
This is perhaps Ryokan’s most famous poem:
The Thief left it behind –
At the window
Compare these two stories, the first one from Zen monk and poet Ryokan and the second from the Sufi Idries Shah:
One night a thief broke into the Five Scoop Hut on Mount Kugami. Finding nothing else to steal, the thief tried to pull out the mat Ryokan was sleeping on. Ryokan turned over and let the thief take the mat.
From Sky Above, Great Wind by Kazuaki Tanahashi
A thief entered the house of a Sufi, and found nothing there. As he was leaving, the dervish perceived his disappointment and threw him the blanket in which he was sleeping, so that he should not go away empty-handed.
From “The Way of the Sufi” by Idries Shah.
There is much happening right now that I will share with you soon. Bare Wood 2 is finished and I am very, very happy with it. It’s been a beautiful weekend. The light outside is incredible. It’s been raining a little every day. It’s all good.
I also came across the following video and would love to hear what you think of it.
Honestly, when I listen to this I am convinced that men are an evolutionary dead end. For more context and background read this post at Music Technology Policy.
Now I am going to bake my bread and make risotto for dinner. That’ll set me right.
Grammar gives us the structure of language but doesn’t help us figure out the story we want to tell.
Music theory teaches the rules of the musical language but not what to say.
Keeping that in mind we need to strive for a balance between training the understanding of the rules and structure on one hand and the development of our own message, our emotional story, and our vocabulary.
Do we want to write an essay that has perfect structure or do –
Maybe somewhere in between is the place to be, is where the balance lies.
You may have heard the cliche: the classical musician who performs the notes in front of him perfectly, but cannot improvise; the self-trained musician who can’t read music but who play his instrument beautifully. There are jokes about it, like this one:
How do you get a pianist to stop playing? You take away their sheet music. How do you make a guitarist stop playing? Put sheet music in front of them.
Most musicians are a combination of the two varieties. I can read music, but can’t sight-read. I read haltingly like a second grader reading a story. I remember telling Jon, who can sight-read his way through a whole performance, but also improvises as well as anyone I know, that I wanted to study music theory – this was sometime in the Nineties. There was a pause and then he simply asked why? I think I replied that I felt there were a lot of rules I didn’t know and that learning them might make me a more well rounded musician. Jon said something like, but it’s working for you. I felt he could be right. What if I wrecked the secret sauce of my music?
It’s all about the balance. What is enough structure and what is too much? Perhaps it is the tension between the feeling we want to convey and the structure that we express it with that creates beauty?