Friday, April 10, 2009

My Mom Goes Existential On Me.

Today is my mother's birthday, so I called her to chat a bit. In the middle of our conversation, she got sublimely deep on me. We were talking about my childhood. She once gave me Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss to read to my sister. She said I told her "This is stupid, there is no such thing as green eggs and ham!" During our conversation today, my mom told me I was always a "literal" child. My mom and dad never spoke to me as a child, so my imagination developed in a different manor. I never was and still not much of a reader of fiction. I have read most of the classics in school, but I never go out of my way to read new fiction. I love biographies and I always marvel at our literal world. I love history. That is why I love the human condition. It also explains why I'm a news junkie. When I write songs or poetry, I write about literal worlds-time and places. My abstract thinking comes from imagining what if people made different choices in their lives. How would a person react if put in a situation. I was never a fantasy world type person. Comics, D and D, and even video games have never really interested me. I appreciate the passion for those things.

One of the things I love about music is that is real and abstract at the same time. I can play notes, read notes, sing notes, play with rhythm, listen to recordings. Yet you never actually see music. You feel it. The imagination behind songs, compositions and bands. The myths and legends behind the creators of music are my comic books, my fantasy worlds. The great thing for me is that I can be part of it. I can create my own world and collaborate with others.

This leads into my thoughts on religion, since this is Easter weekend. The greatest gift my parents gave me is a sense of self. They always respected my autonomy and let me think for myself. Now music to me is my way to connect with the spiritual. Whether playing or listening to my favorite music of discovering new bands, I connect with a higher power. I respect a person's faith, though I will never get around how some organize religion is used to separate and marginalize people. I never believed in a middle man to tell me how I should live my connection to the spiritual. I am very glad I didn't grow up with some of the constraints organized religion can give folks. My sense of self lets me know its ok that I get my connection with the spiritual through notes and beats. When I need to connect, I pick up the instrument closest to me or play a recording.

All the green eggs and ham talk made me think of this reading by Jesse Jackson.