Friday, October 9, 2009
The Joy Diet - Playing with desire
Genuine desire. Pick a pebble, any pebble. Twice this week, my desire had to do with being happy with myself. I know that sounds like a vague notion. I was facing a busy week returning to certain elements of my working life and artistic life after a quiet period spent introspectively. Partly, I didn't feel ready. It felt as if someone had gently nudged me from a soporific dream state and strapped me into the capsule of a rocket. And before I could prepare myself mentally and physically, the shuddering of the spacecraft provided the rude call to wake up and steer myself into orbit. My to-do list this week was long, including a couple of days dedicated to being out of town on business. Knowing that I’d lose two days to something that was not my heart’s desire made me anxious -- I would be missing out on time spent doing things I enjoy. The simple desire to be happy with myself was enough. I wanted to take action on my list without anxiety and self-flagellation.
When heading home from the two days spent out of town, my desire turned to something very elemental. I wanted time with my instrument. The yearning only intensified with days separated from any music making. No playing, no singing, no humming. I now realize I need music like I need air.
And then there was The Big One -- the desire so difficult to allow myself to have. Because it was always warned against, because it is completely impractical, because only silly dreamers can entertain the thought of making a living as an artist. I don’t want throw myself completely into trying to make it happen only to wind up proving the naysayers right. Also I’m afraid it is too much to ask, so I’m tempted to discard this pebble. But I won’t do it yet. I have a hunch I can benefit from spending more time keeping this one in my pocket, familiarizing myself with the ache of holding it. I want to conduct an experiment: let’s see what happens to this desire if I keep it close, if I resist the notion of tossing it back into the heap.