homo spiritualis > homo politicus

*chauvet cave prehistoric paintings

it's been quite an unremarkable week, coming from wk full of rehearsals, masterclasses, coaching and recording project. i even went off caffeine and slept proper, which magically eliminated most of the muscle tensions on my shoulders, yipee. though that confirms that there are no short cuts to living humanely- especially for oneself.

with a bit of extra time, ive been working on some music i have put on the side (project with minnow and some other things i just happen to really like), taking care of little things like balancing the book ( ! ), running surprise lunch deliveries, checking up on kiddies to see if all are alright, putting up posters for gigs, etc.  and then came a surprise unpleasantness.  you see, as a freelancer, we put up posters for gigs at the conservatories and universities, so that interested people may take our info.  often, however, it gets incredibly low and some days you realize that someone has taken down your poster. i find this quite disheartening.

we work in music, of course, as cliche as it sounds, we do work in the field where our subjects are much larger than our little lives and that we constantly strive for 'better' part of humanity.  so whenever something like this happens, i find it disturbing.

i try not to push myself against other people nor i try to undercut peoples' rate. the way it seems is that there are many people who wants to make a living by playing music, a far more than we could possibly employ, as a society. so competition is fierce. and because we tend to work with people on individual basis, often it is a healthy thing to remind self that one simply works not only with abilities but of humanistic ties we build with one another.  of couse i would like to play more, but being able to play my instrument is only a very small part of the whole process. and there are enough people who are pushy about work- i know that there are a few who are brave enough to negotiate and undercut the rate.

i often wonder if that's what i should do.

then i feel either 1. completely useless (because it is against everything i hold important and to compromise self for something that is so fundamental seems to state that i have actually 'failed' to build a 'self') or 2. ridiculous (whoever ripped my poster off, i hope you got some satisfaction out of it- as clearly you arent exactly sane, happy nor financially stable).

perhaps i should schmooze and befriend these people and try to work up the ladder- be political, at core, one does live in a society! but then- it never comes to reality. i believe i should care for people because it is the right thing to do, not because it may result in some sort of personal benefit. once i start to see the human interaction as chains of bartering, i may degrade myself as a poor, unsuccessful failure.

i am nothing big. i am nothing special, just another human being, trying to strive to better self, to find fulfillment in my work, making my best efforts to be financially independent and responsible. and i better be happy with self, as no one else can do that for me.

as part of my other strategy to make a living, i work at the university as a backstage hand. i often get to interact with real, genuine artists and i do take pride in doing my things right- i dont really care if that means making sure that right piano bench is out for a pianist, running to go get a water for a greenroom guest- i may as well do it to the best of my ability.  rarely but surely, this attitude does get me a big thanks. i didnt do it to be thanked for, but i do sure enjoy it.

and i also get to see these great shows- well, i dont get to see it but i do get to hear it, from the backstage corridor. yesterday, it was a great jazz workshop by mr. chase sanborn and mr. terry promane. i really enjoyed and got some important points for myself *to take home, though i am so far from jazz. the finishing concert with legendary wayne bergeron didnt hurt either. who is he? well, youve heard him-really! he's the guy who did the trumpet lick for the jeopardy show and other things such as music tracks for the pirates of carribean and the incredibles, etc.  the house was HOT. and today, it's aldeburgh connection, a program entirely by faure and four lovely singers and the great couple, steven ralls and bruce ubukata.  i think: i am loving the fact i am exposed to these wonderful things.  and yes, i am getting paid on top of it. not much, but something. but that's only for my bank. i leave with riches, the haunting melody of regrets from faure's automne ringing in my mind- a small example.


this song, i first came across it while accompanying in italy. in the middle of italian grilling summer sun, it seems surreal to think of the waning autumnal dusk, full of yearning and hint of regret.  and as i hear it again on the stage, a live performance, it brings all kinds of feelings- glittering gold leaves of falling leaves, of the lovely text by silvestre, beautiful melody and heart-breaking harmony, the fall into the middle of the winter- the point of silence, sense of 'leaving'... the list goes on and on. i think of my brother who is no longer with the land of living. of people who lost and who were lost. of lives that are older and dramatic than my own, of emotions and stories that is larger and deeper than young 'me.' collective human emotion sharing its depth of emotion so freely with whoever is willing to listen. the thoughts that i may not be able to arrive on my own for a long time, perhaps never.

i recently went to see a herzog documentary: the cave of forgotten dreams on bookbomber's urging. he rarely mentions anything twice so at third mention, i just booked a night off to see it. and yes it did something. i dont exactly know what. i may go back to it again. there were so many things that clawed into my recently defeated heart. especially in the middle, the anthropologist jene-michel geneste discusses the idea of 'human soul' so poignantly in this movie, as he relate to oldest paintings of man, forgotten till now then found untouched recently in chauvet cave, southern france. i wish i can get the exact quotation but in a very simple form:

yes, this is a true human soul. not just homo sapiens ('knowing man'), but of homo spiritualis.



a man does not live with bread alone. 

with such beautiful thoughts that keeps sprouting up on the most grim and depressing days- much like the lovely surprise mushrooms after gloomy rain, i keep my heart close to myself and to the ones i love dearly.  of course life is expensive and demanding. and for some reason, i feel bit more dented than others on regular basis. it does make me wonder if i am just weak or invalid (especially when something stoopid like 'torn posters' happen)  but at the end, it's always a full-circle, back to self. however invalid and not important i may be.  

so here's another day. i am not financially much better today nor i have succeeded in becoming more powerful or desired. but just like yesterday, the day before, and many moons ago, i still have many wonderful things around me. and lovely people. the list goes on. i shall hold onto this fragile life-saving spidersilk rope carefully. much love to you all and i wish you all the most beautiful sunday afternoon on 16 oct 2011, as it will also pass by, in a wink, and never returns.


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