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Aug. 5th, 2011 | 12:35 pm

I have a few ideas going at the moment. In between working on some Scriabin and some astrology yesterday, I looked at several White Lies interviews on YouTube. They're really very charming, almost disarmingly suburban-middle-class. They've been friends since they've been teenagers, and sometimes there's a warmth and cameraderie that comes across that seems really genuine. Maybe part of the charm is realizing that I'm going to be returning to campus soon and, if anything at all stands a chance of raising my spirits a little bit, it is dealing with young people--well, at least some of them. As much as I prepare myself every year to tell them that they're a bunch of lazy, cheating, illiterate losers, I usually soften a little bit when I'm actually working with them.

In one of the interviews I saw, from a German TV program, the interviewer asked the lyricist about the pessimism of the group's lyrics. The lyricist openly admitted that he's a pessimist, but rather than seeing that as negative, he thinks it can actually be quite romantic. He also commended the Germans for their sense of humor, which is closer to British humor than American humor is. This led me to consider why I began to resonate with the work of British psychologists once I tired of the pollyanna sentimentality or the reflexive retreat from intensity that is typical of so many American therapists, counselors, and spiritual seekers. Quasi-ecumenical quasi-Christianity or Buddhism lite or Hinduism lite is fine: just don't go deep enough into anything that you begin to encounter some resistance and begin to do some actual work!

With regard to astrology, a couple of exercises I was working on had me looking at some long-term patterns with my partner. I'm trying to recall a time when employment was not a stop-gap measure that began to extend indefinitely into the future, punctuated by attempts to kick-start a "real" career by returning to school. This has been going on for 25 years, and I'm sick of it. There's never going to be a time when he's actually going to be satisfied enough with his station in life that he's actually going to have a real presence to share with. It's simply not going to happen. For now, I'm focusing on letting the familiar be a low-maintenace backdrop (or as low-maintenance as it can possibly be) while I spend more and more prolonged periods drifting into my own space. I just don't see that "relationship" is going to be a dynamic, galvanizing force in my life. In my present circumstances, I just don't see how that's going to happen. What's changing now is that I'm losing my belief that that really matters so much. Yes, there are poets or composers who have found renewal (or so they or their biographers would claim) by having multiple marriages or affairs or whatever, but somehow I don't see that as my trajectory. So that's the happy news with astrology, which is why I tend to work on it a little bit at a time. Frankly, when it hits, it hits harder than any therapy I've ever done.

Some things are happening with music analysis that are helping to rebuild my confidence in my approach, slowly and hesitantly.

So there we are.

Peace,

ak

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