Modes and Mortals
I haven’t blogged for a couple of weeks. Reason? I’m working on a new CD project and my brain has been in a different room—literally and figuratively. I write in one room and record in another. Can’t be two places at once—physically, mentally or emotionally. And that’s not a bad thing.
The recording process involves lots of numbers, meters, mixes and cables—and countless decisions, great and small. Even the playing and singing are different in record mode. It has to be just so, because once mastered and replicated, it is what it is. The artist mode can generally be summed up in a phrase, “going with the flow.”
One day I asked acclaimed Alabama artist, Sarah Towery Carlisle, how she approached a new painting. Wizened by experience and years, she said that her way was to sit down in front of the blank canvas with pallet and brushes–and just begin painting. Over time, she would paint and watch as the subject emerged.
Call them “modes”…capacities…rooms in our house of life. We all have many. Role-wise, we are friend, spouse, parent, employee, teammate, student, etc. Capacity-wise, we are thinker, feeler, judge, responder, reactor, talker, listener, etc. I’m sure you could create your own lists.
Sometimes I feel guilty or inadequate because I can’t be all things to all people all the time. Welcome to mortality. We have only so many minutes. We can only be in one place at a time. We can only listen—really listen—to one person at a time… read one book at a time… etc.
I love the words of Achilles (Brad Pitt) to Briseis, in the epic movie “Troy”.
“I’ll tell you a secret. Something they don’t teach you in your temple. The Gods envy us. They envy us because we’re mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again.”
Friend, do what you are doing now. Do it the best you can. Enjoy the ride. Tomorrow, if you are lucky, you will be in another mode and get to do something else.