During the holidays, if I had been as productive as I wanted to be, then after working at the bakery, I would have spent my weekends off practicing flute & finishing projects for my Patreon.
Instead, I spent those weekends resting.
Last fall, I came across these words from Ocean Vuong, poet & novelist:
I tell my students, your brain is probably telling you... you’re not ready. Take that image with you. Go on a walk and live your life. Maybe something about your life, you pay attention to it, can show you how to write that thing. Don’t fight it. So much of our culture is bent on fighting, David and Goliath, wrestling the muse. We look at creation as a battleground. And I think it’s one of the greatest detriments to creativity, to see ourselves as participants in a war when it should be participants in creation.
Along the vein of alternative modes of working, I'm questioning the notion of “completion” in creative work.
At the heart of my creative practice is transparency about how hard it is. How much I have still to learn, even after a fancy degree from Carnegie Mellon. Sometimes, things will remain incomplete. And messily so.
To some, this translates to lowering my standards.
To me, it means being real. In order to create authentically, I need to create at my own pace. Far slower than what society (or capitalism) has conditioned me to believe is acceptable.
As an independent creative, there seem to be endless grey areas. Defining what’s “good enough.” How to budget my time. How to budget my energy. How to balance inspiration & joy with discipline & structure.
Today, I felt too heavy to make music. Heavy in the sense of tiredness, a heightened awareness of gravity mooring me to the Earth. Today was my sixth day straight working at the bakery (simply because some coworkers are quarantining & I could use the money). Today was the longest & busiest shift of the week.
Today, with some recording projects coming up, I wanted to practice.
To be sure, with all the heaviness of these days, I've found solace in practicing. The vibrations of sound awaken my sense of being rooted in physical reality, loosening the grasp of tangled worries around my mind.
But today, the heaviness of sociopolitical tension pooled into the heaviness of being tired. It felt impossible to practice, let alone to make music.
So instead, I warmed up my sound. Focused on fluid breathing. My posture.
Tomorrow, there will be the possibility of a productive practice session. Today, things were slow, messy, incomplete.
(Not sure what I was trying to hum at the beginning, but decided to keep it. It offers context that's missing without video.)