Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Discomfort Zone

Long time no post.....but I post on this blog when I have the urge to just rant (hopefully in a constructive way.) Although blogs are nice when it comes to folks expressing their views, blogs need to be seen as they conversations. Which is why I blog once in a blue moon.

Anyway I wrote a composition a few years ago called The Discomfort Zone. The title was inspired by my ongoing soul-work and how sometimes you have to deal with your demons if you really expect to mature as a human being. Many people seem to reach a certain point in life and just settle down and chill for the rest of their lives....nothing really wrong with that if that's your thing. But some of us are still "be-coming" who we are and need to work hard just to "be" who we really deserve to be, which is human. We weren't put on Earth to be slaves, hoes, tricks, or etc., but sadly many folks believed in the hype and accept their fate instead of pushing for what they rightfully deserve in their lifetime.

The Discomfort Zone is that place where it seems like no-man's land, but it's really buried treasure inside your soul. Only you can go there; not your family, friends, or anyone else who may try and persuade you NOT to be your true self and want you to be like what THEY are comfortable with. Some of their advice may be cool, but YOU are the only one who has to live with yourself 24/7. Since some folks like to put others before themselves, they tend to do everything to AVOID dealing with what's the most important thing, which is discovering THEIR TRUE ESSENCE. Once you get to that point, dealing with life becomes a FUN struggle instead of just oscillating between feeling good and hating on others (whether it's hating on others who seem to be doing better than you or hating on others who hate you for doing whatever you think makes you better than others.)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Folks who talk about leaving Richmond.....

For a while now I have been hearing folks talk about how leaving Richmond for various reasons. "Richmond is so boring", "Richmond is so backwards" and etc. are some of the complaints out there. It's funny because many of these complaints I hear from folks who moved here from up North.

As a jazz musician, I used to think like "Oh, Richmond's jazz scene is so terrible that I'm gonna move far way" (the jazz scene is actually not anything to do backflips about, but that's another subject.) The first time I traveled up North was sometime in 2006 when I went with a friend to Michigan. It was also my first time in a plane and the flight was cool. But what was interesting was that the general mentality among the folks I ran into in Michigan was basically apathetic. I discovered a phrase during my trip, known as "cold Northern hospitality."


in hindsight I realized that me ridiculing Northerners of being a certain way that I wasn't accustomed to was no different than folks who put Richmonders down as being what Northerners are not. Yes I'm aware that Richmond is the capital of the Confederacy and has been less than kind to the ancestors of those of us of a certain hue. And that Richmond is usually up there with larger cities when it comes to high crime rates. But every city has its issues, and the North was the first to have housing projects...

I still think Richmond is slow when it comes to many things, but I learned to use the negative aspects of this city as something to learn from. It's like a mirror; you don't have all this hustling and rat-racing like New York or Detroit to distract you from seeing your own flaws. Maybe all the complaining is from folks who seek external stimulation instead of focusing on the self. It's as if The Nile (Denial) has replaced The James in Richmond (that sounds corny, but the point should be clear......)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Day 1 of FAST......and etc....

these are just random thoughts as usual

I officially started my fast on Friday at midnight and am now going through the second day. One thing that stands out as a result is how much I always depend on food to kill boredom. This fast is rough (I never heard anyone say it was all pink ribbons and ice cream) but the willpower needs to be worked and the digestive system really needs a rest. I want to be able to keep up with folks half my age - haha.....

I'm still on my hiatus and I made great strides because of it. As a pianist, I feel that I have grown tremendously. Maybe it's because I tend to take in information slowly, and with the lack of overstimulation from others telling me how to play MY INSTRUMENT without any knowledge of my experience, I'm free to actually DO MUSIC (not just go through the motions to please others.) I miss the individual folks on the scene and I support you all in spirit, but I DO NOT MISS THE SCENE AT ALL. But I'll be back on it, and folks can bet that it will be some fresh stuff.

This is the first day of me being 30. The strange thing is that I don't feel it, but maybe that's just me. A lot of folks my age are (or were) married with kids and are settled into what they will be doing for the rest of their lives. Not saying that this kind of life is better or worse, but it's not my thing. Probably the marriage part, but it has to be with the RIGHT PERSON. The RIGHT PERSON is someone whose temperament is compatible with mine. It's like if she's boiling water, I can be ice-cold, and together we will make a nice relaxing bath. Or she's the same temperature as I am and we combine our resources to have more of what we had as individuals. TEMPERAMENT is the key word; a lot of folks (especially you vain women out there) fail to realize that there are some guys out there who could care less about how hot you are if you are all chaotic inside. There are a few women I know (I can probably count all of them on two or three fingers) who may be very physically attractive but what really matters is their aura. What's your outlook on life? How do you live IN THE MOMENT? Do you have an Icarus complex (always reaching for impossible goals and becoming crabby when you fail)?

Anyway, I'm composing less and transcribing more. It seems that when I first started learning jazz, I jumped into the theory first without actually practicing the PERFORMANCE aspect of it. Yes I know how to spell a BSusb9 chord, but I also know how to spell NEUROSURGERY. That doesn't make me a competent NEUROSURGEON, does it? So all I'm doing for practice is transcribing (which means I'm basically playing along with recordings and writing the notes down ONLY after I've absorbed the music enough to write it from memory.)

stay tuned.....