“The more you move from true, unconditional love the more difficult it becomes to take anything personally. You can try to be offended, but it’s merely out of habit- deep down, true, unconditional love doesn’t hurt.”—Andrea DiLorenzo (via aldilorenzo)
“An invisible thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.”—Ancient Chinese Proverb (via maddierose)
A couple of good friends passed away this winter. Both still in their youth. When this happens to people you know and care for and miss the presence of, you can’t escape the reality. Before it happens, it’s just a concept. After it happens, it may profoundly shift all of your other concepts. This particular set of tragedies has had affected my entire approach to performing music, to even considering picking up an instrument or writing or singing or recording a note.
The main concept that has shifted for me lately is that of timing - as in why hurry? Making music is such a long process, and marketing it an arduous one at best. It takes a lot of energy, and a lot of failures and false starts and misconceptions to find your footing in an ever-changing landscape of how-to’s that don’t really work necessarily as good as they sound. I’ve spent ten years rushing through and trying every angle there is, but the only one I haven’t tried is the path of patience. And I don’t mean a let’s-wait-and-see-how-everything-turns-out kind of patience, I mean a I’m-going-to-do-everything-I-can-to-develop-myself-and-not-give-a-damn-about-success kind of patience. The secret I am finding is that the more I try to chase success, the more it runs away. It’s like chasing that hot girl or guy to no avail, and then once you quit someone drops in your lap. I can’t say that success has dropped in my lap per se, but then again i’m still in the process of letting go of expectations, and all the old behaviors that support such ridiculous attempts as manipulating or controlling life. All I can control is: do I pick up my guitar today, do I practice singing a song into perfection, do I find a piano to play?
You may be wondering, what does this have to do with death? The basic relationship is simply this: We have limited time, and ultimately only today. We can plan future actions, but are only able to choose in the now. Death is a reminder of impermanence, of limitations. The attitude of patience is appropriate because worrying about success and trying to speed things up is a waste of life and a waste of time. The more patient I can be with my goals, the less energy is wasted on stress, and the more conscious energy I have to pour into doing the things that move me towards my goals - the simple actions of writing a song, learning a song, recording a song, producing a song, performing a song, teaching a song, listening to and enjoying a song. This cycle IS the point, IS the success. It’s time to stop looking for opportunities and to get lost in the process - to disown angles and master approach.