Another Sunday Pondering
Recently, I’ve wondered how much we’ve spent on our collections, over the years. And last Sunday, I wondered what will happen to our collections when we get old and can (possibly) no longer maintain them.
Well, this week it’s a bit of a ramble… I hope it’s coherent. And it won’t have all the answers (not even close). I’m just spitballin’, here. Thinking out loud. Cool? Cool.
This week, I ponder creation versus criticism (and making space for both). And also ponder the future, a wee bit…
Records. Books. Movies… I’ve been thinking about why I idolize others and their works, collecting them and, in the case of albums, writing about them in this blog. Appreciation of art, of course. And long conditioning – I’ve been a collector, now, for 32 years. I love me some groovy tunes.
Yet it feels akin to reading novels all my life, but never writing one myself. It doesn’t feel like enough. So, now I consider still collecting things and writing about them (records), but also making time and space to create my own new stuff.
So, it’s simple, right? If I feel like I want to, just go and create new stuff, right? Duh! Obvs!
The basic work of space and time to do this is obvious. The urge is there. The ideas as to what to do… somewhat, but sure to grow stronger given room to breathe. Hell, I used to write a lot of songs, I even played in a band. And I have boxes full of my old writing, but I only make weak stabs at any of it, these days… Why did it tail off? I dunno, but surely no good reason. I’ve been content to be the audience for a long while, now.
As for blogging, I’ve spent 10+ years slapping together my suspect quality contributions to these pages, and that’s fine. That’s a lot of unprofessional armchair criticism jibbering away into the ether…
There’s still a lot to love about it, though. I get to run this site with our great friend James, and I’ve met tons of awesome people via this community and wouldn’t trade that for anything (COMMUNITY!). And I do enjoy listening to records with the thought towards what I’ll say when I write it up so you folks can participate and (hopefully) learn something. In fact, after all these years I’d find it hard to listen to a record without aiming at a review.
And I need to be careful here, because I’m not saying that blogging about music isn’t creating something new. It’s my own thoughts about what I hear so, in a way, it is indeed fresh. But it’s not a record I made I’m offering you, just my own blather about someone elses’.
So as I said, lately, it doesn’t feel like enough. You’ll notice I’ve not read and commented your blogs with as much regularity since before Christmas, surely. And it’s no slight on you. I just feel a shift, that some of my attention needs to be elsewhere. For what? I don’t know yet.
All that’s well and good. But there’s more! Of course, you know my brain by now. If one thought is good, I’ll take it further! Discuss the following:
For example, what do those people in bands or authors do or have that I don’t? Well, they apply themselves to the act of creation of new work (same as we apply ourselves to blogging). Many have talent (whereas mine is weaker, but could potentially improve with work. Only one way to find out!).
Most of these folks, admirably, work damn hard to learn and get where they are and, yes, some of them are extraordinary and quite simply born and meant to do what they do. And I’m sure even those folks collect/hear the work of other people too.
The difference is, to me, primarily that they’re putting themselves out there, and they’re actually doing it. Instead of sitting back and commenting from a comfortable position on this or that work, they’re actively creating and putting it out there.
And yet more thoughts followed, regarding my own leanings, such as “creation for the sake of creation isn’t helpful either – what about meaning?” And also “is what you’re creating for personal use or with intention to sell it?”
In short, though, it’s clear to me that it isn’t for everyone (and that’s fine). As I said, without a second thought I’ve been happy to absorb the work of others most of my life. But I know for a fact for those who do create, it must have value (to yourself or an intended audience) or there’s no point in doing it at all. Just like anything else in your life.
I don’t have concrete answers. I’m just going by feel. But if I disappear now and again, it’s nothing you’ve done. I might be elsewhere… making stuff!