Monday, October 3, 2016



Reminding myself that wherever I am, I am on stage helps me to recognize the stage on which I am about to perform as my home place.

How could this be?  Life itself, for each and every creature, is being on stage most all the time.  Being prepared for action, for vulnerability, for safety.  Being able to sense, to estimate how comfortable I might be. Being anchored in the here and now, the present moment, riding it like a bicycle.  Learning how to be comfortable in the present moment helps me to sense being on stage as being at home.  Where it is safe for me to take off my armor, to know that it is safe to make myself vulnerable, at home. 

The more often I am on stage the more familiar it becomes to me.  Being prepared to perform, knowing that I am ready, gives me both confidence and courage.  Also the curiosity to explore what I am able to create with those, the audience, many of whom are prepared to reverberate with me, to share in the process of creating the art that brings the beauty of the past into the possibility of the present.

An idea that can be helpful in learning how to be on stage as a performing artist is knowing that I am on stage all the time as a living human being.  I might even be on stage after I die if someone reads what I have written, or recounts some of my escapades. 

Mindfulness Meditation is one good way to find my way into the present moment and learn how to stay in it.  I can anchor myself in the present even though I have the future in mind as I write this.  I envision sharing my experiences with you on October 15, at LearnaPaloozaATL.


In the here and now I am in a choir.  This is a complex choir comprised of several other choirs that are also comprised of several other, perhaps hundreds of sets of choirs within choirs.

The most immediate choir that I am a part of is centered in my own particular human body.  It is a choir of organs. My internal organs, heart, brain, lungs, liver, gizzard, glands, bones and other assemblies of cells which, even at the microscopic level are made up of essential interacting parts. Included in this body is the set of organs I use to sing with.  Ears to hear myself and others, eyes to see my music and look at the conductor.  If I learn the music I can include the conductor and the audience in my vision. I need to feel what is going on inside my body.

In this same here-and –now I am a member of a family and a community, a number of organizations locally, some state-wide, and some nationally.
The extent to which they make music together, metaphorically speaking, is the extent to which you might call them choirs. Some that literally have made music together are the Albany State University Chorus and the Albany Chorale.  The Porterfield Methodist Church Choir  joined with several other  Methodist Church Choirs a couple of weeks ago to perform at Porterfield.
If you stand not too far off and look at this picture you will see a network of networks of people who are alive today. But even this degree of connectedness is not the complete picture of what I am getting at. 

And what might further our grasp of the picture? The word history comes to mind.  Being in the here-and-now brings the past into the present, always rumbling and lurking in the background, then coming into the foreground when its turn comes, in the form of memories, to command center stage.



There are several things I want to bring into my mind and, on bended knee, into yours: They are about making better sense of my self, thereby coming hopefully to having better sense, period. These things are my own current perspective, , which changes continually, as I open my mind to my own ignorance, which I experience not as being dimly witted, but as a hunger to know.  Learning how to have my own point of view is a work in progress.

I don’t believe I have come up with any new ideas by myself.  Often I have what I think is a unique revelation. I do an Internet search and discover that much, if not all, of it has already been thought and written about in depth; however, I enjoy a mind, the contents of which, when taken in their context, and in their entirety, are in some important aspects as unique as my fingerprints. 

In other words, how I am connecting other peoples’ ideas is a result of my own mental activity: how, when, where, and why other people and I have drilled their ideas into my mind.  Lately I have had the idea that is helpful to have an ecological perspective, which requires considering myself an infinitely tiny being.

I concluded recently that an infinitely small triangle is still a triangle, not an infinitely small dot. I didn’t think of it that way when I was studying calculus. I learned that, for practical purposes it is indeed a dot. With an ecological perspective, then, there are as many contexts in which it is important to be subjective as to be objective.  I like to fantasize about mosaic vision.

Mosaic vision means, for one thing, that I want others to have ecological perspectives about the same common kinds of situations that we all struggle to comprehend and deal with. This, in turn, contributes to my hunger for respectful dialogue.  I learn much more  myself, no matter how many geniuses have bequeathed their ideas to me. Many insects have mosaic vision literally. I wonder what it would be like to see like a bug with big mosaic eyes.  Think of what depth of vision we could all share! The good news is that figuratively we have such an opportunity, and when I look around and see what is going on with Google+ and other available venues, it’s happening!

The thought comes to me now that the Old Testament God put in the Garden of Eden a tree that bore fruit that would, if eaten, give Adam and Eve the knowledge of good and evil. Didn’t He know that humans are born curious? Didn’t he want them to be curious and fascinated and ethical right off the bat?  Or did somebody make up this tale millennia later in order to concoct a religion with which to stultify and stupefy and impoverish as many as possible, then and for years to come? Come to think of it, they might not have meant any harm.  I think it was St Augustine, the prolific writing saint, who invented the idea of original sin. God knows I wish, in his story, that Adam and Eve had sat down and eaten the whole apple. I am imagining it was an apple.  That is what many others have imagined. I wish they had eaten three or four. I would be as sure as anything that they would have been able to stand up to the Him and talk him out of his fit. In respectful dialogue. Democracy right off the bat! Pointed out to him that he was operating from unethical premises. Henceforth he wouldn’t have done all the terrible things the Bible said he did. Thinking for myself, I don’t believe that He did such a thing anyhow!

When I started writing the above paragraph I intended it to be parenthetical, but it is, at the same time, a good example of a subjective ecological perspective.   I don’t think there is any such thing as an objective perspective. Although it is an oxymoron, an objective perspective is the base from which mainstream academic science continues to operate.

So far in this section I have been writing about an ecological sense of myself. My sense of myself is that I am, as Harry Stack Sullivan taught, “More simply human than otherwise.” I might also confess, at this time, to being, even more simply, an animal. That stretches my common ground out even more deeply and broadly. If I am struggling with what people call an inflated ego, then there is no way for me to resist the impulse to inflate it even more by considering that I and my species are specially created, and that there are ways that I can rise in what is obviously a concocted dominance hierarchy, and proclaim myself to be high on the pyramid. From my point of view the only way I might have an optimal set of connections in this universe is to notice how small I am on a Cosmic Scale. Only when I look outward and inward into far reaches both ways, might I fathom the possibilities for joining with it all, and attaining the value of being more simply human than otherwise.