March 2009

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Sooner or later I have to tell the conductors of the orchestras in which I play to tell me very loudly, and very firmly what they want me to hear; what they want me to do. I will do what they ask, usually without embarrassment.

I am not hard of hearing, but difficult to penetrate. “Why”? I ask my self. Egocentric? Unwilling, uncaring? Perhaps my own meanderings fill every nook and cranny of my interpretive self, and I leave no openings for more.

Perhaps I hear inner voices loudly claiming, clamoring, competing, unwilling to move over, to make room. Perhaps I am blocking, and merely want to keep noise’s excess managed.

“Tell me loudly and I will hear!”

What once seemed obvious now seems less sure.

Sitting upon the edges of knowledge, I see a kind of core to what is common. I also see that common core pulsating like our sun at its circumference; leaping up in odd places and in odd moments. When the common core falls, whatever pushed and pulsed is then recast. The core of common sense, a centralized location of what we all have in common, is as dense as before, still as common, yet…I can tell my self that what is different is me; older, my memory extended by each day’s forgettings and clippings, rearranged to fit today.

Do I see, each day, what is commonly common?
Does my view change each day, as the seasons?
Do I write to extend the is, of what is common?

Solid, stolid they appear. A certain kind of self-assuredness. They seem to be persons who know, promoters of things that are good; well-meaning, liberal. But, with them, I seem to lose energy. Self-doubts enter in, as I find my self doing a self-telling that these particular persons seem not all that bright. But here I am, heavily into self-doubt, finding myself accusing them of what I am experiencing. What is going on? Within this melange of self-doubt, the accusations directed as well toward the others, I become captive to a concentration of ideas and thoughts which aren’t even very interesting.

My own life, full of doubts, full of overcoming, I seek well-motivated criticism. But, here amongst these energy sappers, I have fallen into some trap of banal self-justification; the kind in which I find myself defending the worst in my self by seeking the worst in them. Exhausted, ashamed to rediscover a me I had thought was behind, overcome. Perplexed.

Then, last week, a gathering of the perplexed: in which we discovered that another was dealing with these self-same energy thieves, and reported…exhausted, ashamed…the same internal experiences. And ruling-out coincidence, we decided to justify self and to externalize blame against these masters of the art of self-doubt. The problem is revealed and remains, that we are susceptible to others’ depiction of our selves, in some ways that seem self-destructive.