Come together

I love the Beatles.  Always have, always will.  Come together is one of the greatest songs ever.

But I don’t like politics.  And according to my friends, since I didn’t vote, technically I have abdicated my right to complain about the situation America is in.

They may be right, they may be wrong.  Who knows.  This will likely be the only post I ever write that is somewhat political in nature and I’m not really sorry for it.

I didn’t vote for a number of reasons, one of which is that while it is my right to vote, I also believe it is equally my right to not vote.  Another reason why I didn’t vote is because I couldn’t bring myself to vote for either candidate.  To my eyes, both candidates were the willing and also unwilling figureheads of a lot of hate and vitriol.  I was really appalled at it all and decided that instead of being forced to pick one side of hate and vitriol over another, I would simply not pick.  Yes, I could have picked the Libertarian party.  But apparently I was not alone in not voting.  Lowest voter turn out in 20 years.  That’s 5 elections.  That’s a lot of time.

I am just tired of the finger pointing and the typecasting and the rhetoric.  But is my silence just silent finger pointing?  I suppose one could look at it that way if they wanted to.  But you have to want to.  I don’t.  I’m just silent because I’m tired of the noise.  Judge me if you want.  And, I’m sure there will be plenty who do.  It’s easy to judge isn’t it?  Its easy to categorize and then categorically dismiss people.  I appreciate what Colbert said about us liking the taste of the poison.  I find that apropos.  We’ve all been a victim of judgement at some point in our lives, some more than others.  And when one has been a victim of that it makes that person want to return in kind.  Eye for an eye after all, right?

Or does it have to be?  Look, I’m not saying that I consistently demonstrate it.  I can feel the struggle within me to give the finger to the kid who was walking across the street that gave me the finger first.  And in that instance, I gave into my want for revenge.  I just wanted to get him back somehow for the injustice he supposedly caused me.  I wanted to turn around and harass him all the way home.  Make him feel fear.  But what does that do?  What did he really do after all?  Gave me the finger.  So what?  What does that matter?  It matters because I feel weak by not defending myself.

What ever happened to grace, forgiveness, and trust?

I will be a willing participant in constructive conversations.  I will be willing to offer the grace to listen to people’s opinions that I find offensive and hope that same grace is offered back.  I don’t know where things went wrong, but I suspect it really doesn’t matter.  In the end, it’s the future we have to come together on, not the past.

This may be a fool’s hope, but I really do hope we start to learn to show each other love and grace.  And I’m willing to start.

Taking the plunge: dropping my shoulder rest

I’ve finally done it. I am tired of fidgeting with my shoulder rest, having it move on me while I play, having it snap off in the middle of playing and most of all of feeling the pain in my neck and the tension in my shoulder after hours of practicing. Okay, let’s be more realistic. Hour of practice.

Nevertheless! It must go.

I’ll keep you posted on updates on how this is going.  In the meantime, I’ll post the videos and postings that were helpful to me.

This isn’t the first time I’ve tried this however. I used to try this back when I was in college. Perhaps I was too set in my ways back then (I was a far better player then than I am now) or perhaps I just didn’t have the right coaching (the reasoning I prefer to claim) But some really helpful youtube videos have cropped up that really helped get a good start on trying to figure out how to do it.

I really should plug this guys website as he has a full lesson set on this particular topic.  I don’t know you dude, but here you go Alex:  May many a violinist in pain come seeking your tutelage.

Below are the free vids he posted on Youtube.



Finally, Alex’s site refers to this page and I also thought it was super helpful:

Here are the videos on Youtube in case that page ever goes away

Hello world!

So this is my new blog.  I’ve been off the grid for like 10 years.  My old site which was hosted on geocities (yeah, remember that?) has been gone now for some time and is probably not a good modern representation.

Anyways, why did I start this?  After all, I’m relatively happy, stable and content.  Who wants to read crap like that when you have facebook to have everyone’s happiness thrust in your face?

I suppose the ultimate question is why does anyone write blogs?  Basically, I have a bunch of stuff I want to write about and if there are people out there who find my writings useful or helpful or entertaining, then that’s great but ultimately a blog is for me.  It is a cathartic process that exercises that all so important skill: communication to an invisible and unknown and generic audience.

So, here is my “hello world!”