Spinning Our Plates

david-burlet-plate-spinning-act-plate-spinner-juggling-comedy-juggler-platos-chinos-malabares-giocoliere-piatti-cinesi-chinesische-platte-jongleur-zirkuskunstler-115

David Burlet in his plate-spinning act. Plate spinners were among my favorite act on the old Ed Sullivan show. They defy the laws of nature, much as people do who battle mental illness.

Some people have such difficulty expressing their periodic chasms of vengeful depression, they take to the Internet looking for narratives they might adopt for their own. Now and then, reading through these portrayals of sub-flat-line despair, they shout, “That’s fantastic!”

This does not suggest any enthusiasm – not even for recovery. Part of depression is being willing to take on anything – even the misery of others – in an effort to fill the void with something other than deep, dull pain. Continue reading

Standing on Rounded Stones

 

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Our daily battle for balance.

In my composition classes, I teach that if you are interested in thinking outside the box – if you strive to stretch or break the rules – you must first master the box. It’s my simplistic notion based on observations that some of the most innovative musicians were first classically (or at least formally) trained. This mastery is the foundation from which they can reach for more. Continue reading