I have a lot of what's known as nervous energy. I burn more calories standing still thinking for ten minutes than a crew of bricklayers does working an eight-hour shift on a cooling tower for a nuclear power plant. I can drop a pencil and grab it again before it hits the ground. That's not martial arts training, it's NERVES. I've discovered I'm wound like a top, and to ease back on the tendency to red-line I've adopted a "Walk, don't run" policy in all things. Sometimes I forget though... for example:
I have a facebook account. Wheee... except that it's been a pretty cool thing to be able to run in to old friends, even to actually speak with people I knew of, but never got to know at all. That's been interesting. I actually introduced myself to a cat who's been a bass player avatar of mine since I started playing- actually I'd been at it about 2 or 3 years when I saw this one dude play. But there have been three such major characters in my interior musical life: John Paul-Jones, Wally Voss (now gone home on the Big Bus), and this bassist I caught up with on facebook. Note: I'm learning to leave names out of these entries unless everyone concerned knows and it's cool- everyone knows John Paul-Jones, and Wally Voss is gone, God rest him.
When I'm not at ease I tend to rush, maybe run on at the fingers (we're typing to communicate these days). You might know how it is- you start to run and can't really stop before you've begun to look an arse, first-rate. Ah well, humanity- you're part of it. Trouble is I bother myself with it after the fact, after saying something clumsy, or posting way too much verbiage in lieu of a simple response. I give myself no peace at all, I tell ye. At the end of such a peaceless episode I generally find my way back to 'Aw @*#! it'. And remember who I am... I just wish I could start out that way!
Anyway I wrote the guy I mentioned above a facebook message, sort of stating my reasons for doing so, and he wrote back. Now I thought that was pretty cool... we wrote a couple back-and-forths, talked about playing... I got to thank him for all the bass lessons, all that. And that was a fine thing. The one most very cool thing accomplished by this, however, was the happy transformation- in my own mind- of the guy from a mere symbol of something I'd aspired to be for so many years, into an actual person! In my own consciousness I had relieved him of the trouble of having to be something superhuman. I found out he had kids, had a history like everyone else has, had victories, disappointments... all that dynamic stuff people tend to have in their lives. Much of my view of this person- ok all of it, except the bass-playing part- was fiction. Of course! The latent discovery was relief to my own self as well.
I started this post with "nervous energy" because when I can't seem to find myself, or a familiar reference for a situation, I maybe start grabbing at straws. When you socialize with someone on facebook, unless you knew the person before-hand, you will never really know them, see, so that 'at ease' thing is never quite home when talking to folks you actually meet on those pages. Now I know I'm not a complete imbecile... but sometimes I end up feeling like one, and it tends to last a long time. I wonder how much of it is noticed by others, or if it's any kind of a factor for other people? AM I a complete imbecile when I talk too much and it goes down for all to read? When I say something thoughtless that could be easily construed as coarse? The sorry little process is always a pain in the neck, either way... but I'll probably stop thinking about it sometime tomorrow.