Monday, February 27, 2012

Passion Party #430 - Honing Your Vision

Just as a craftsman needs to work with the most effective tools
I need to sharpen my vision every day.

Writing it out
reading it every week
sharing it with those I love.

Making it sharper
more efficient
more focused
the thought becomes reality.

And the more complete the picture
the more I see where I want to go
the clearer the path becomes.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Passion Party #429 - Full Heartedness

I know I am in the right place
when I play with a full heart.

This full-heartedness
leads me to unusual places
where giving is common
and sharing joy is contagious.

Whether I am with 6000 people
or two people
the spirit is the same.
Trusting my heart
listening to my heart
the doubts recede
and decisions are easy.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Passion Party #428 - That's What Friends Are For

To beckon
To cajole
To check in with
To support
To be there when you're down or troubled
To share the triumphs
To share the fears
To share the joys
To share thanks

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Passion Party #427 - The Dance of Life

Every tragedy carries within it some illumination.
Every happiness carries some sorrow.
Every triumph reflects a struggle
and every defeat carries the kernel of success.

This is the dance of life
it is learning
it is a willingness to look at all sides of a situation
and not be afraid
to feel
to take responsibility
to take the next step
to move on.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Passion Party #426: Money - Trust - Relationship - Happiness

These four words
so simple
so powerful
and how they fit together
is open to interpretation

Which comes first?
Which comes last?
Are the four words even linear?

Many people think you need money to get happiness
Many people think you need money for people to trust you
Many people think you need money to be in a relationship

But what if money comes last?
Maybe relationship comes first.
Money is a means to an end
Happiness comes from the relationships we develop
relationships build trust
and trust creates happiness.
Money is just a by-product of the process.
Relationship - Happiness - Trust - Money - Relationship...
and around it goes.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Passion Party #425 - Big Questions

Big questions take time to answer
and in Gustav Mahler's symphonies
most every answer takes 70 - 90 minutes.

There is something inherently ironic
that in Mahler's search for Truth (with a capital T)
he would find the need,
not to sit silently on a mountaintop,
but the need to muster hundreds of musicians under his baton
to play out these philosophical discussions.

"Whence do we come?" he is quoted as asking Bruno Walter, a fellow conductor.
"Whither does our road take us?
Why am I made to feel that I am free while yet I am constrained within my character, as in a prison?"

The answer to Mahler's never-ending questions
often came from nature, from the birds or the Alpenhorns.
His "why?" is often answered by "why not?"

This week three more symphonies (#7, 8 and 9)
three more evenings
we'll continue the search
and ask more questions
and I will enjoy the ride.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Passion Party #424 - Mahler-Palooza

Some say Mahler is an acquired taste
but I took to his music immediately
when I was introduced to it.

Although he wrote in a Post-Romantic style, in many ways he was the first truly 20th Century composer.

A few words used to describe Mahler in Harold Schonberg's "The Lives of the Great Composers":
eternal questing
seeking and searching
inability to come to terms with society
guilt complex
doubt and anxieties
an "obsessive neurotic"
a psychic weakling
a sentimentalist
a "manic depressive"

In other words, the first 20th Century Schizoid Man.

"Only when I experience do I compose -
only when I compose do I experience."
- Gustav Mahler

The Los Angeles Philharmonic, under the direction of their 30-year old conductor Gustavo Dudamel, is performing "The Mahler Project", all 9 symphonies (plus the Adagio from the 10th) in a three-week time span.

I, of course, have to go.
I will bask in 7 symphonies in the course of the next 14 days, including the rarely performed Symphony #8 which asks for an orchestra and chorus of 1000 performers.

Over the years this overwhelming amount of music
has spoken to my heart
led me into marriage
and charted points in my mental joy and anguish.

Mahler died at the age of 51 in 1911.
His last completed score (Symphony #10: Adagio) was completed in 1910.
His music, and his life, bridges the last Millennium.
Two years later, Schoenberg performed "Pierrot Lunaire".
Three years later, Stravinsky performed "The Rite of Spring".
Mahler's symphonies certainly led the way, consciously or unconsciously, for these composers.

Mahler was a crazy diamond.
I look forward to spending time studying the facets,
watching them shine.