Saturday, December 14, 2013

What is is About the Unknown?

unknown fungal growth
While journaling this morning, the question of what is it about the unknown that can disturb me like it did last night arose.  Under the direction of my instructor, I spend part of every practice session just playing, improvising to see what develops.  Sometimes this is at the beginning, sometimes at the end, and rarely in the middle of the session.  When nothing is there I move on. This determination is usually a recognition of the truth of the situation, and is not harsh nor full of judgement.  And when the recognition is one of something is happening I stick with the exploration.

Every now & then, circumstances like last night arrive.  No idea why and while I could certainly create possible & plausible causes & conditions, I'm not certain this analysis would serve moving my musical development further?  What remains important to me, was when I heard the negative self talk, I did not listen and abandon the work.  In hindsight I see that when the talk was developing, I was drifting away from the present moment.  By pausing and taking a few breaths, I was able to bring myself back to the moment.  My body relaxed a bit, the chatter lessened, and the emotion calmed.  Approaching the task with a more unified presence, I was able to enter back into the unknown and not remain stuck.

I know that there as a time to let go of an exploration, a pursuit or a relationship, but when is that?  Elusive at best without a clear cut answer.  No need to engage if all that is going on is frustration & brow beating, but sensitivity to the moment at hand is pertinent. In the act of learning might letting go really mean giving up?  Is there a place that arises when you have exhausted your known options and your brain is stimulated and you find something new? When the emotions are aroused in the act of learning, might a subtle biochemical shift develop that also stimulates the brain differently than when an improvisation is proceeding smoothly?  Then in quieting the body mind complex with the breath, this new harmonized approach has a fresh territory to explore.  Being somewhat free to roam in this unknown place instead of walking away from a sense of stuckness and failure gave rise to new energy.

Again and again I learn and apply these lessons to my musical practice and to life.  May I continue to recognize when to remain with a process, when to pause, and when to let go.  May the breath of life continue to inform me and all beings.

1 comment:

  1. This is such a beautiful way you have given voice to at times such a complex space. Thank you for sharing your understanding and experience. I now see the unknown with fresh eyes after reading this. Love and light to you!