Monday, June 06, 2016

TM: Music Discipline Exceptions

So far in 2016 I have made two music exceptions to the rule.  The first was Radiohead's new album.  The second is the new work by Autechre, elseq 1-5.

No mature rule is without exceptions, and no useful rule tolerates more than just enough.  Exceptions are neither good nor bad in themselves.  They are a tool of discipline, adjusting a template to an instance. They are a thing whose currency depends on scarcity, meaning they must be used sparingly.  A rule with exceptions will endure, while a rule without will soon be broken and pass from practice into something remembered.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

pain cannot make life bad,
just as absence of pain
cannot make life good.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Minute

how strange to be restless
agitated and bored

looking out windows
as if ships could be seen
coming in

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Conversation; disciple and master

You’ve misunderstood the question completely.  It’s not, “What will you die for?”  It’s, “What will you live for?”  People die without any reason all the time, and many after living without any reason either.  It’s living with reason that we are trying to talk about, and if you aren’t going to try any harder than this, I’d just as soon get back to my books.

How do you live for something?  Most of our days aren’t much more than fetching water, lighting candles, making paper, collecting paper and the occasional trip to fetch ink.  How does any of that encompass a reason to live?

I cannot give you a reason to live, nor can I define your purpose in life any better than I have already.  I can’t make you wise and would not even if I could.  You must grow into your potential, there is no good in my stretching you into shape, and such force leaves the disciple brittle and misshapen, only to be done in extreme distress.  An ugly and difficult process.

But you know these things.  You know that I love you, and you remember your lessons.  If you want a command to follow, find a calm and quiet place and meditate for two days, drinking only water and eating simply and sparsely.  Speak to no one.  When you have done this, return to me and we will speak of what is to come.

Yes master, I hear and obey.

Friday, November 20, 2015

An ancient quote supporting multiplicity of self

“Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life.” 
― Seneca

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

RE: Bataclan

"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities" -- Voltaire (1694 - 1778)

My response to the Paris attacks, after the initial emotions, is a greater resolve to compassion and empathy for those fleeing religious extremism and war.  They are our neighbors, and we should care for them and accept them into our communities.  If me and mine were in their shoes, it is what I would want and hope for in others.  Writing this now firms this resolve within me, it makes dark lines where I had them only lightly sketched before.  I'm proud of the US Governors who have not come out against desperate families immigrating to their states.  The others are shameful and ignorant of our past; we've done these things before and they were never anything but wrong actions driven by fear.

I know these words are small and that their impact will be confined to myself, but I feel stronger having affirmed my position.  I feel steadier on my feet in regards to these events.  We must settle these things within ourselves, even if we are not important people.  I am small, but I hope to be steady and quickly regain my sense of direction after being shaken.

Friday, November 06, 2015


correspondence excerpt that I've come back to a few times, posting here for easier access.  I'm not saying anyone should read it.  Its probably crap but for some reason I kinda get in an affirmation flow with it or something :-)

I would like to talk about the meaning of life and how we choose to live it.  We didn't volunteer for life, no one has ever chosen to begin existence.  But we each choose to continue it, affirming this decision with each inhale, each step, sip, and sup.  We live.  Genetic combinations that do not continually choose to live will not breed as well, they will not compete as well.  Any genetic ambivalence in this direction is selected out.  So we live and live and live.  We go on.

OK so we were conscripted out of the infinite possibilities of the universe into existence; we were instantiated by another.  Those who instantiated our early selves were not trained or qualified, they probably were relatively unaware of the genetic tidal wave pushing them along with their cultural accelerators into bringing us about.  Innocents all.  But after growing up, and living for a few decades we are no longer innocents.  We begin needing a bit more to drive us.  Especially if the sops of the wealth and fame lotteries fail to overwhelm our good sense, especially then.  Once a little human monkey peers past the bobbles and glass beads offered up for our time here.  Once we look past the hedges, and we see... what do we see.  Nothing much really, empty fields.  Space to grow a little more expansive than our cultural molding would have allowed to most.

Maybe we are gape mouthed and a little disappointed by the edge of civilization, the open fields of human maturity within which we see a few lonely soles wandering about, lost in the freedom of their own salvation from cultural constraints.  Who do they speak to, and about what?  They cannot go back without discarding their best self in exchange for something now uncomfortably small.

Our lives are still too short.  I doubt there will be more than a few accidental sages wandering about in freedom and an unpracticed sort of contentment until our race elongates its life a bit more.  Until then, those people who look out at the American Culture and see nothing much they want are our best hope.  Those that have outgrown the commercial.  Outgrown the golf course and the pigeon feathers of fame, wealth and power.  Some of us outgrow "cool", and some of us outgrow "success", and some of us might outgrow "virtue" or "contentment", but we would need a more mature human society for that.  We will have to be a different people, a different human people with a different view of life and what its worth and what it means.  We aren't them yet.  And I and like all men am a man of my time and place.   I will not see the promise land that I hope will exist within the lives of men some day.  But in a thousand years or maybe just a few hundred I dream of a different human experience.  Let this be a dream for us, so that it can be a hope for those after us and an aspiration for those after them, and finally a reality to those humans lucky enough to be instantiated for good reasons and into a world ready to really take care of them.

Yes, we must remember how to craft dreams.  I'm off to drink an espresso and try an unpracticed hand at imagining a world I would choose to live in, not just once, but many times: what world can I dream of where I would choose to live lives over and over again, eternal recurrence.  I'm trying to dream of a world like that.