Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Find Your Spot

This was a hell of a year for me. As in hellish, really bad. As the years progress you are expected to be wiser and more experienced. What is the nature of this mystic wisdom that is supposed to accumulate as time passes you by? I'm not sure.

They say that the basis of wisdom is "I do not know" or at least the recognition of that fact. If that is true, then I am wise indeed. I have re-learnt several important lessons this year (that I will probably revisit next year as well thanks to my amazing memory). One of them is the importance of context, how lack of information or the reliance on false and misleading presumptions can lead to cognitive and emotional errors and mishaps. The view of the world and its people is always partial and to judge according to this partial knowledge is to inevitably err. And yet, additional data will never be quite enough for a full and comprehensive picture. It is always limited to and based on your own flawed perspective.

What do I do then? If gathering additional data alone can't help, what will?
Patience. Empathy. Imagination. Compassion. Constant learning and developing. Interaction. Challenge. Being aware of the tendency to judge and jump into conclusions and instead trying to be open minded and perceptive.

The coming year will bring many changes and challenges: a new flat, possibly a new job, a possible trip abroad with its own opportunities, maybe even a new iOS (yeah, haven't upgraded yet). Looking back, I think I've acquired some important tools of thinking and skepticism this year, and I hope to put them to good use.

I can't say I'm optimistic. I know where I live and what some of my limitations are. But in the end, my life is my own (another important lesson I've failed to internalize). It is for me to choose how to use it.

It is past time I do.


I was going to write something a little different about music in this post, before I got carried away with the pseudo resolutions. I was listening to a recording of a concert by Nils Frahm on Youtube the other day. I got to it by the seeming randomness of life - one of Youtube's suggestions based on my previous listens.

The concert is made of several pieces and it was only in the second or so pieces that I got hooked or turned on. Frahm, it seemed to me, plays the piano with a sort of a strike, almost a hammering (though it's quite possibly the poor audio I had). It was an interesting technique, but somehow by that particular piece it had changed. I felt oddly connected, like I knew what he was trying to say and how. The technique seemed to flow and it wasn't hammering at all; it was a mode of music and feeling.

Today I listened to the same concert again and I wasn't able to pinpoint exactly where and when I got hooked. I still felt the music and enjoyed it, but the experience was different.

So what is it that gets us hooked on some of the times and not the others? The way we listen, open ourselves to it? The environment and technical parameters? Our state of mind? Is this the upside of jumping to conclusions that might have ended quite differently had I gave my first listen today instead of that other day? Will I now on future listens always look for that point in the track when I thought and felt "yes, this is it" (and thus ignore, to some degree, the present)?

What are we shutting our eyes to when we're looking for that one thing?

Take a listen. See if you can find that spot that works for you.

Oh, and Happy New Year.

Nils Frahm - Live @La Route du Rock 2011

Nils Frahm's web page and twitter.

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