July 13, 2004
My daughter asked me the other morning why it is that people have to shave. I replied with the non-direct answer that it's unlikely that we'll ever evolve to the point where we don't have to, even though we'd like it better that way. That's because we've worked out these ways around it, and made it easier and easier to deal with, so that in the evolutionary picture, a hairy (and thus less attractive?) person has no appreciable disadvantage over a smooth-skinned person. Unless my peach-fuzzed rival is out there procreating while I'm shaving.
In fact given that entire industries (which aid the survivability of employees and investors) now depend on our dependence on shaving, are we even less likely to "evolve"? This question is maybe more relevant to the drug industry or bioengineering vis-a-vis GMO food. To generalize: the overall societal organism invents organs (industries) that helps the survival of the individual components, thus assuring the persistence of the new organs.
It's a favorite topic of mine. This post was stimulated by this article found via A&L daily, which I'll have to read more closely.
In learning the drums, I discover for the first time 'practice' in the sense of "my practice" i.e. "what I do", not just preparing for something greater.
With the saxophone, practicing has almost always included a sense of preparation for the "more real" and fulfilling experiences of playing with friends or onstage. The joy of practice was partly just enjoying the tone, but also comprised a big chunk of work-ethic satisfaction.
But anytime I'm at the drums, I'm just there working, playing, and loving it. In all aspects of the discipline there's the joy of action. So I realize I'm at home. Where I "go" with it doesn't matter.
And I get this glimpse: when the greatest musicians play onstage, they're just giving us a public, intensified extension of the thousands of hours of playing that's a part of them, whether it's alone going over a section a hundred times or playing in a practice space with others. All of that practice was the practice of being a musician.
The luckiest people must be those for whom the work they do throughout the day is like this. I can only try to take that attitude along and apply it where I can.
July 12, 2004