". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Achieving the Alpha State, Effortlessly

Spend much time outdoors in below freezing temperatures, much time that is also physical exertion.

Race like mad to meet up with your partner at the end of the day on the last car of the Number 6 at the Astor Place platform.

Proceed to Blue Smoke - Jazz Standard and eat Caroline-inspired food, while meeting old friends and someone new, talking like mad, learning what it's like currently to be living in Yokahama, and how different the feeling is in Japan these days from before Tsunami and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

Listen to 'difficult' jazz music in a dark room, the apex of which is the lighted, red-backdropped stage, while seated comfortably, and drinking one's second Sly Fox pilsner, only one in a room of people gathered who do listen to music, intensely and focused, while the musicians are also intensely focused on what they are doing.

Within minutes you have entered that state, where both the body and mind are still, merely one part of an entity floating on the sound. Some call this the alpha sate, and I call it peace.

I first experienced this state soon after meeting el V. And except for the cold, food and the beer, it was the same: a dark room, at the apex of which was a lighted stage of musicians playing 'difficult' music, while the audience is listening as intensely as they are playing. And it happens invariably when I'm in this situation of live performance of 'difficult' music. It doesn't ever happen with music that I actively like and enjoy, whether live or recorded.

It's a good thing too because today is anything but peaceful. El V awoke at 4 AM and started packing. Then he sent some e-mails. He returned to bed about 5:30 and was up again at 7:30. And it's like 13 degrees and the wind is harsh, filled with ice knives. And everything is a crisis.

And I'm doing more laundry.

It's the getting dressed and undressed that makes everything so exhausting. You can't go out without wearing layers if you want to be warm enough outside, and not suffocate inside. Putting on, taking off, putting on, taking off. Gads.

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