Friday, March 14, 2008

Stopping and Starting

Sometimes when I post responses at other blogs, I hit on themes about my own life that I find myself repeating here.

I was responding to an excellent bit of art at Mia Wolff's blog that sparked some memories:

I used to do all kinds of art. Pencil, pen & ink, charcoal, some soft material carving and clay sculpting. When I hit my early 20s I stopped all of that (cold turkey)to concentrate solely on writing. I'm not sure why I did that, and sometimes I'll feel the urge to take up the charcoal, which was always my favorite.

I only tried color once--painting a landscape at the age of 16. I was so horrified at my inability to mix colors that I never tried it again. Even my art teacher was horrified at what I had done, as I was the best pencil artist in the class.

My one effort at carving soft material was pretty satisfying. A kind of soft plaster that my art teacher mixed up when I was taking classes at the age of 13. I carved a bear and it turned out really nice. Again, I never went back to that. Can't say why.

Similarly, from about the time I was 18 until I was in my late 20s, music was a big part of how I enjoyed my leisure time. I had music around me almost all of the time during those years. One of my favorite things to do to relax as to retreat to a dark room and meditate while music played. It didn't really matter what was playing--Borodin or Rolling Stones. It didn't matter, as long as I could think about the music and just drift with it and think.

And then, suddenly, pretty much without my noticing it, I stopped listening to music. To the point where music bothered me. If a radio was on, I'd turn it off. I never played records at all, and my record collection languished and gathered dust in bins and peach crates stored in closets about the house.

It was only when I discovered Napster in its legal but outlaw days that I started listening to music again. Those were great days for me, and I built up an enormous library of music that I listened to for hours and hours, recalling old familiar tunes, and making new discoveries.

And even though Napster, and then WinMX were closed down forever, I still listen to music far more than I did during the days when it was absent from my life, but not so much as in those times of Napster, maybe the only true example of communism that I've ever witnessed.

Old Napster. Jove, how I miss it.

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