Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Its like riding a bike, but not really

Its amazing how some things, which I once could do so well, can become with time activities that seem beyond my reach. I used to be able to pump out songs on a regular basis, coming up with riffs and lyrics on the spot; now, its all I can do to pick up the guitar and strum it five minutes without becoming frustrated.

Its odd really; after all, I used to be able to work with limited means, squeezing the most out of my limited resources to the best results I could achieve, making fun of other artists who took months and years to release anything on much more expansive means. Now, I have all these toys and I'm still not satisfied.

Interestingly, the toys I miss the most are the ones that were the most limited. I miss the creative drive that came from the limitations. Now I'm faced with this huge array of devices and sounds, and noting really gets me going.

With synthesizers, samplers, sequencers, effects kits, and powerful laptop, I miss being able to build a track using nothing more than a guitar, a microphone, a primitive keyboard and a recording program. I have the means to record and modify sounds in ways I never could before, and I cant even bring myself to get a damned basic beat together.

It seems that I am meant to return to my roots: minimalism. Before it was by necessity, I didn't have a choice; Now, its by need, as I still don't have a choice. I am wasting far too much time and resources being stumped by choices and toys.

Its time to get back to basics.

Cue to black screen.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A death in the family

This evening, a little before 10pm, our eldest resident passed away. She was a tough little critter, with her weird crossfit routines and love of animal proteins. We had to grease her regularly like a Greek wrestler, and she certainly worked out like she was one. She did indulge is stuffing herself, which became quite comical at times.

She had been more and more quiet lately, spending much of her time sleeping. While this was a bit unusual, there was nothing that could really be pointed out as being particularly worrysome. Tonight, she seemed particularly lethargic and cold to the touch. We thought that maybe she was sick, sneezing and all. Then the power went out. While waiting for it to return, Natasha called me to her side; Esme was not doing well at all. She was weakening and twitching, feeling pretty cold, going weaker and weaker... and then time simply caught up with her. She passed away in our hands, one tough old wrinkly gal.

She is sorely missed

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The high price of living

Its not you, its me.

Its an old one, an excuse often juggled as a weak attempt to end an awkward relationship. Its not necessarily a lie, its just a convenient box in which you can drop something that's too hot to handle, and when you don't want the other to get hurt. But it never really works, since that everybody knows the trick, so its just a pantomime played by rote.

Exit stage left.

When you go through a radical transformation, nothing is quite as easy to implement, regardless on how obvious they are. That particular trait is particularly harsh for those who are witness to the transformation. It is an awkward time, where routine gets a swift kick in the ass, amplified by the general anxieties and stress of high-speed normal life, or what passed for it anyways. For those witnesses, who have their own burdens to bear, it is distressing to endure the shock waves as the character role they were used to, and relied on, suddenly reveal that a friend or a loved one is not as bedrock stable as he or she used to be.

When in the embrace of chaos, you depend on those granite anchors to provide a reliable counterpoint to your own confusion. When those counterpoint go through their own storms of change, chaos reflects on chaos like fun house mirrors reflecting each other with no stability or direction; its a hurricane inside a maelstrom inside a black hole wrapped in eleven-dimension quantum geometry. A perfect storm of the id.

When the change is seen as obvious and necessary by the protagonist, it can become antagonizing when your anchors cant reflect that change. The lack of response causes the super-ego to rebel, consider one's allies as potential enemies and declares them traitors; after all, what are friends but validation for the grandeur and genius of the self.

Except that people are not telepaths (well, most people aren't), they cant automatically know what's going on, they cant see reality through you filter, no matter how obvious it appears to you. And when people lose their anchors, when the persons they rely on for stability appears to go bunker and frothy at the mouth, most people stay away from the rabid dog... which cause the super-ego to claim "See! I told you they were traitors!"... causing more rebellion, causing more distance... you get the idea.

I cannot claim to fully understand what others are going through. I can claim to be something of a selfish bastard, and that's no admission or guilt. I don't buy into the whole guilt trip thing, whether mine or other, expect nothing such from anyone, and would, in fact, throw it back at you. I look to the future; I read the past, sometimes through the wrong lens, sometimes the wrong past, but I strive to learn and change. I deal with the present as it happens, just like I handle people as they are.

I bear the scars of my changes. My friends have been enduring the tremors, not knowing what the expect, or how to handle it. I do not blame them for staying well and away; in their situation I'd have probably done the same. My feelings remain deep down the same as before. My posse remains my posse, for the same reasons as before. I have made a mess of things and I have but one thing to ask:

Where's the broom so I can pick things up and clean up.

And what's your poison darling?

Okay, two questions. Deal with it.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Inner demon

I seriously thought about calling this post The Secret, because it is about something that there's this stupid book by the same name, I figured that it wouldn't quite have the same impact. So demon it is. Its also a better followup to my last post, given that it is a followup post.

We must face our inner demon. To do that, its necessary to identify the bastard. The tricky bit is that for the work to be effective, you have to do it yourself, with no outside help. All that yammering you read about about this star or other who "faced his inner demons" or some such bullcrap... well, that's what it is, crap. The fight with the inner beast is one that you don't talk about because its one that is deeply personal, its not something that can really be discussed.

I have an inner demon that I cant discuss, that I shouldn't discuss, simply because to even acknowledge it, to discuss it gives it power. To agree that its there is to fuel the obstacle it poses. And if there is one place I cannot, ever discuss it, its at work, because it would pretty much spell a bad sign and would cause possible harm, not just there, but down the line.

Its a demon that I must face and fight every single day, sometimes easily, and sometimes I need a really big stick. I must fight and be silent. In my silence I give myself power, as the motivation remains to stand on my own, the only way the bastard can be brought down. Its a demon that must be faced, the very act of facing it and spitting in its face is what builds the road to victory.

I intend to keep going forward and onward, regardless of the chatter of the beast. After all, what can it really do?

Don't think about it, just keep aiming for the nuts. That will teach it to mess with a sorcerer with a plan.