Saturday, September 6, 2008

What jazz has done to me

In the last six to eight months or so, I've noticed a pretty profound change in most aspects of my life. I've been making a concerted effort not to worry about things, and I've actually been able to keep from worrying! That doesn't sound like much, but I've never been able to do it before. Now, I recognize the truth in what Montaigne and Mark Twain both said, paraphrased: My life has been filled with troubles, but most of them never happened. I can't remember the specific instance and moment when I realized worrying was a waste of psychic energy, but I remember I made a conscious effort to force myself not to worry about something (having to do with work), and I remember that the very thing I was going to worry about didn't even come close to happening.

I mentioned this to Mrs S the other day. She said she noticed too that I have been more relaxed, less likely to get upset at little things, and not getting as upset as I used to when I did get upset. I told her I was glad she noticed, because I had some notion it was just me. But no, she was in agreement. Then she pinpointed what I had failed to draw a correlation to: You've gotten calmer (she said) as you've gotten deeper into your music.

That's it! I was always relaxed and ready to deal with the world when I was deeply absorbed in music before, but I attributed that to youth and the fact that the onset of my chronic hereditary hypertension had not begun yet. As I became a responsible, older citizen of the world, and developed hypertension and the effective and ineffective strategies that go with coping with high blood pressure and everyday cares, worries, and tribulations, I chalked it up to adulthood. Now I'm finding, I don't need it. If I've got my music, I can put everything else in perspective. Priorities change, attitudes improve, and all the things that bothered or irritated me before just fade into the distance where I don't even recognize them. I don't miss them, because I don't even know they are there. And I feel good about everything.

This is liberty. It would sound trite to say I owe it all to jazz, but I think the two are in a symbiotic, synergistic relationship. Jazz makes me focus specifically on something that I think is important. That stimulates and excites me, and that allows me to tolerate the world at large when it becomes less than hospitable. People see and feel the change in me, and the mutual good feelings in the world grow, and they grow directly and all around me.

That's maybe why I'm a happier person now than I can ever remember being. Things are in perspective, and it allows me to live a better life.

So, like I said a couple days ago, that's the path I'm on. Where I'm going, I couldn't say. Maybe heaven, maybe nirvana, maybe ignorant bliss, who can say? But, I'm a willing traveler, and if you're reading this, welcome to my journey.


Dana Barish said...

That is an awesome revelation! GREAT job!
Dana (your hot sister)

Eric said...

Thanks, sis. Appreciate you getting up so early to read my blog...