Thursday, October 14, 2004

A few random jottings 

It’s so easy to let day follow day, to let the minutes fill themselves – there are always so many more things to do than there is time to do them in; there’s always something ready to fill the next minute, and the next, and before long a week has gone by, then a year, then a lifetime...

There’s an inner conflict that builds; I feel torn between wanting a sense of purpose, a drive to take me ever forward, yet on the other hand wanting just to stop and appreciate what is. These seem opposing, because the driven view always seems to be looking ahead to somewhere other than in the present. So many times I get trapped into binary either/or thinking; now it presents itself as a choice between drive forward or relax in the present. Most of the present is good, but there’s a constant drive to escape just one part of it – the part that is my job. It’s a waste of time; it benefits no-one; I’m almost embarrassed to be paid for doing it.

But I digress. Thoughts about my job have become an old treadmill that I get stuck in from time to time. I was thinking about time and purpose and what fills the minutes. This last week has been filled with many things, mostly good things that mean a lot to me. My daughter wants to be a professional musician and we’re visiting a number of universities and conservatoires to narrow down the choices of where to apply. It’s very competitive – her instrument, the flute, is wildly oversubscribed at the conservatoires and they can afford to pick only the very best of the best. So these are tense times – she has to spend three or four hours a day practicing for the auditions, knowing that the chances of getting in aren’t high. But she’s giving it her best shot. The universities are easier to get in to, but the courses are less performance-based. It’s all very much at the forefront of both our minds; I guess I’m acutely aware of my own poor decisions career-wise, and I want her to have the courage and imagination to have dreams, and the self-belief and determination to see them through.

It’s been good going round the colleges though. Places of learning, places where music is what matters most; places where people matter too; places where creativity thrives. I feel very much at home in these places. It’s been refreshing, inspiring, heartwarming – some wonderful days, and of course they heighten the contrast with my normal work days.

There’s much I feel like writing about these places, which is where I came in with these thoughts – much worth writing about but the time has been used up already. It feels as though there’s so much creativity and love of music that it gets soaked up by the very fabric of the buildings and wafts around in the air, ready to nourish any receptive soul who wanders through. But with too much to do, the feeling doesn’t make it as far as words. Just a few random jottings.

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