or better yet, where have i gone?
Let’s see, since I last wrote quite a little bit has gone on. After New York we have started a new project at work, and we all got busted for using work computers for not-work projects, so essentially I’m on the computer much less, and end up just barely keeping up with my email, nevermind having time to write. It’s a sad thing, as I find that I miss it when I don’t get the time to write.
I did write about She’s a Bad Mama Jama, because the song has just lit up my day. Yay.
Last week I spent time with a friend and got to check out the Middle East etc, and i was really happy with the food, service, and company. It was a fantastic time, and the place is such a nexus for music performances (which I have seen before), but I’ve never taken advantage of the food. It was great to see that they have those bases covered with some fantastic food, either from the veggie or meat side of things.
I’m always really interested in hearing other people’s views on the world, and in talking about people, animal cruelty, and the sick things that go on in the world, on top of impending environmental catastrophe, I was amazed at how I just sort of roll with it. I was one of those super sensitive kids who didn’t cry, but I’d go home deeply hurting if someone so much as crushed a bug. I just never understood it. These days I feel the same kind of hurt, but in a desensitized kind of way, so I wonder if I’ve actually reduced the amount to which I care.
To be fair, is it possible to even get out of bed in the morning, knowing what I know, if I weren’t a little jaded by it all? When it comes down to it I can’t really say that, definitively, humanity is going to wake up, figure it out, and make it happily. I just don’t have that much faith in people. I guess that means I’m fighting a losing battle, but I can’t not do anything, because that’s when I won’t be able to get out of bed in the morning. Maybe the desensitization is the result of feeling like I’m trying, like I’m doing what I can.
When I throw fits, and yes, it still happens every once in a while, I think about what I’ve said to all kinds of people. When I’m really down on the world and what I’m doing in it, I usually wish I weren’t smart. I wish I didn’t know. I wish I didn’t understand. It’s an interesting concept to play with, the idea of not knowing, not seeing the links, and being satisfied.
Really though, people are very very difficult to satisfy primates. If you have a lot of money, you’re still trying to get a bunch of something else (or maybe just get even more money), if you have nothing, you usually just want more anything. It’s all about wants. Not so much about needs. When I feel like things are bad I try to think about my needs, and how they’re met, and I think whether I can do anything else to help others meet their needs, and at that point I start to have some satisfaction.
Skunk talks a lot about wanting to give people that awe inspiring joy in just about everything he does, and I think by that measure he’s incredibly successful. On that count, and on the count of improving the environment, or helping people rethink the way things are done, I often have to remind myself to find ways to reach outside my own circle of people. That’s the scarier part of it all (though I know Josh would chide me for playing more of an introvert than I really am), reaching out beyond that comfort zone opens me up to being truly disappointed by society at large, but that’s just the pessimist in me speaking up.
Speaking of pessimistic attitudes, we’re closing in on Holy Week, which is my busiest singing stints of the year, and our choir is… well I’ll be gracious and say that they’re rough. I am forever amazed by people doing things out of habit rather than out of a true love. I know I talk about not singing at St. B’s should I feel comfortable walking away, but there is a degree to which it is low-commitment and a lot of opportunity to push myself with music I don’t know, and call and response is very different from any other singing I’ve done in my life, and I like that as a new experience. I try to think of cantoring as an invitation, as a way to draw people in, again, activating people so that they don’t just sit there. Sometimes I just wish they’d sing along, but other times I see the faces and the looks, and it seems like they’re listening, which is another part of the point.
That’s a challenge.
When I was in really fun choirs that were awesome, or when I was in theater… the audience wants to be there. It’s a whole different challenge when the audience wants nothing more than the experience to be over. I know that sounds like I set myself up for punishment, but it’s actually challenging, and I don’t find singing as threatening because the music is what I’m putting out there, and the message behind it, more than putting myself out there.
If only I didn’t find singing about environmental issues totally lame, i might actually be able to get somewhere merging the two.