Monday, 30 January 2012

Missing friends and making vows.

I just said goodbye to a very dear friend. A friend, a brother, a scene partner, a classmate, a drinking buddy, a wingman, a pillar of support...and the list goes on. 

As we parted ways and he began to walk up 54th st, he turned and said over his shoulder,
"If you ever miss me, do something you wouldn't normally do, that you know is a bad idea and it'll be like I'm right there with you".

Those probably weren't his exact words, as he was walking with his back turned and I was a distance away, but I thought that to yell, "What was that?!" after him probably would have spoiled the moment. So I didn't. But I got the essence nonetheless. 

So here I am, playing devils advocate for myself because there's no one else around to do it, writing at 1am. I have to be up in 6.5 hrs to do a show, so this is clearly a bad idea, and since my blog has been more than somewhat sporatic so far, I can say that writing a post is something I wouldn't normally do.

I guess you're right here with me then.

I've recently realized that I do a lot of self-censoring within the context of my artistic work (and elsewhere for that matter) in order to preserve a portrait of myself that I think is more attractive to people. Friends, strangers, it doesn't seem to matter. One of the places that I do this is in my writing. I often feel as if I have not fully expressed myself, and instead sacrificed deigning to be vulnerable by tailoring my work to what I think people will enjoy. I recently received some sound advice on this matter which was: "That's fucking stupid."

I agree.

Therefore, from now on I am making the following commitment: every time I open my mouth, or use my hands, or any part of my body to express myself, I will ask myself whether or not I am doing so to fully express myself, or to impress someone. 

There. Now that it's on the internet, I shall be held fully accountable.

There is nothing more beautiful than the moment you are seized by the idea of something you want. In Chassidus, there are supposedly three stages of an idea. Very simply put, the first step (Chochmah, or Wisdom) is that tiny spark that you get, before you can even truly put words to it. The second (Binah, or Understanding), is an ability to be begin to reason with it intellectually and analytically. The third (Da'at or Knowledge), is a final conscious sensitivity to the potential meaningfulness of the spark generated in that first step. Once you reach that final step, you are imbued with that rush of electric excitement  that represents all that the idea could become. 

To digress from the world of Chassidus for a moment, I believe that this feeling of elation found in that original epiphany is often as good as it gets. We formulate a grand idea and fill our mind with all the possibilities of what it could become. By vividly imagining its final outcome, we are able to partially fulfill whatever the desire itself is, without actually doing any of the work required to make it come about. This simple, immediate visualization of our plan's final playoff will provide us with a very  exciting tingle.

This phenomenon is the birth of procrastination. For with every laborious task we subsequently complete on the road towards our goal, we are reminded of that original feeling of ease, pleasure and elation, and we ask ourselves: 
"Why can't it be as easy as it all seemed when I first had this idea?" 
Hence, plans are set, then immediately fall by the wayside and we move on to the next "brilliant" epiphany.

I have developed a tendency to repeat this pattern. Coming up with ideas and then abandoning them when the going gets tough. I believe that the only way I will not succeed in life is by continuing in this vein.

I also believe that the only way to fight this pattern is to make a choice. A strong decision:
I will commit to doing whatever it is I set out to do no matter how hard it gets. I will do it when I'm tired, sick, depressed, impatient and uninspired. I will work towards it, little by little every day, until I finally get what it is I want.

Writing this blog tonight is one of the bricks I have decided to lay on my path towards what I want.
Let this be the first of many strong decisions.

Until next time,
Aidan Sank

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