Thursday, December 9, 2010


To love is to take a leap into the unknown.  At some point in time beyond the spark of attraction, friendship develops and the perfect shining projection of who or what we thought we knew sheds its blinding light.  We find ourselves in a vulnerable place where a barrier is replaced by a path leading to ours and the other's souls.  The dance begins where lovers entwine or seek solitude, experience comfort or discomfort, discover questions and answers. 

Knowing and unknowing.

To truly love is to accept the flawed, vulnerable and complicated - the things that we don't understand about the other, that begin to unfold over time, or will always remain mysterious. 

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Are great works of art, music, poetry, or other art forms truly original?

Have you ever watched a dancer leap into the air and feel your heart leap with joy? Or have you heard a piece of music and thought of the passion the artist must have experienced to write such a moving composition? We often perceive art as a form of expression, not just human expression, but the expression of that particular artist. We think of works of art, music, or poetry as original. But consider this:

If it is truly original, why would we have an intense visceral response to it?

If it is truly original, wouldn't our experience of it be completely foreign to us, and therefore more like listening to a language that we couldn't understand and be meaningless to us?

If it is truly original, why would our experience of the art be subjective, as well as to those who are creating the work, or those who may be playing music from another era?

These artist are not just expressing themselves. They are gifted at creating the path to understanding ourselves and inner world, especially if we are receptive to it. They are expressing the divine part of our humanity. That is why I experience melancholy when I view Van Gogh's self portrait. That is why I experience joy when I hear Handel's "Messiah". That is why I feel a peaceful sensation when I hear the beginning of Debussy's "Claire de Lune" But there is something else in it that I can't describe in words when the dynamics of the music begin to rise and fall. I feel passion but there is something else. What is is?

That's the beauty of it!
It is that moment when I feel that part of me that has been moved by something greater than myself, while simultaneously granting me a cathartic experience of something that has affected me deeply on a more personal level - a way to express something that is felt that cannot be put into words. The difference between us and those who create great works of art is that they have the ability and the drive (hard work and dedication) to translate the infinite spectrum of human emotions into something that we can embrace.

The true originality is the way the artist expresses or channels that creation, the way it is played   -
 the way that no other artist can.   

Daihei Shibata's visual interpretation of Debussy...

The Light of Life from daihei shibata on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Alan Watts says it even better...

This relates to my previous post about "time" -- being present in the moment that we are in...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

That song in my head

I often wonder how music gets replayed in our minds. People often say "Damn, now I can't get that song out of my head!". And sometimes playing something else doesn't work because tunes can get too catchy, especially the most annoying ones. Companies capitalized on this phenomena by creating jingles to sell products - Empire carpets even managed to get a phone number in theirs so we might just call them "Today!"  I have a book by Diane Ackerman that I'm looking forward to reading that explores the science of why this happens. 

But I think there is something more to it. I experience a great deal of sensory input throughout the day but music is the one thing that overrides what I see, touch and taste. I can go to a museum and see beautiful works of art, but they don't seem to stick with me as much as music does. Music has such a strong emotional impact that its hard to argue that it is one of the reasons why we compose it, need it, play it, write lyrics to it (especially about love), and share it. But consider this question: if there is a song that we like that keeps replaying in our minds, are the lyrics teaching us something? or better yet, tell us something that we know but hasn't surfaced into consiousness? 

There is a song that has been replaying in my mind for a few days now with certain lyrics replaying in my mind more frequently. Soon I realized that this song paralleled my personal experiences on a deeply emotional level, both the lyrics and the emotional quality of the music. Sure, songs can be cathartic or uplifting, but so what??  The "what" is the missing piece of the puzzle that is a lesson I could learn from it.  And I'm still trying to figure that out.  

Monday, November 15, 2010


In our lives we have schedules, agendas, to do lists, ect. Most of the time we are planning for the near or distant future. For example, in 2011 I may be finished with school. Then I plan on my life changing for the better (more money, more career options). I'm hoping, or thinking of the next step. Or maybe it won't change for the better. Minutes and hours of our days our thoughts are on "what to do next".

I was thinking of this yesterday when I took some time to help my daughter with some school work. Another chore, another thing to get done, and then when I finish I can do what's next. It occurred to me that in that moment I was enjoying being with her so much that I turned it into something fun. We were in that moment - not making plans or looking at the clock.

Imagine if we could find enjoyment in all the routines we have in our lives. Our lives would slow down. We can step out the door and feel the air we are breathing. I can step into my car and enjoy the music. Even when it is chaotic or noisy at work, I can stop for a minute and experience the warm feeling of the cup in my hands when I take a sip of tea. Right now I'm enjoying a moment of free time to write this blog. I don't have to think of the next three or four things I'll need to do this evening. I know that in five minutes I'll need to get ready to go to my martial arts class. But right now I'm enjoying writing this post, the quiet, and the feel of getting my feet wet with writing something other than assignments for school.
More to come!