Mornings aren’t what they used to be. Granted, I have never been one to bound out of bed humming Ride of the Valkyries and charge forth upon the day with verve and gusto, but at least my first thought wasn’t, “Yup, still dizzy.”
So in my woe-is-I state this morning, I sat down at my computer to read whatever, and noticed a post in my reader titled “Lean forward.” It was on a site called Please Feed the Animals, which bills itself as “a blog for the recently unemployed advertising professional”.
The post tells the tale of a whitewater rafting trip almost gone wrong. The author, Erik Proulx, recounts how a boat he and some friends were in got hung up on a rock and he panicked and hopped out of the boat to stand on the rock. The rushing water drowned out all voices, so as he stood there wondering what to do, the cries of the guide and other rafters to get back in the boat did not make it to his ears. Finally, he finally figured out what the guide wanted him to do: GET BACK IN THE BOAT AND LEAN FORWARD. It was counterintuitive, to say the least, as there were big, jagged rocks straight ahead, but get back in the boat and lean forward Proulx did, and all ended in beer-soaked revelry (Erik doesn’t write this last bit, but I figure it’s a safe bet).
The moral of Erik’s story, of course, is that stasis is deadly. You just can’t stand still, you have to do something, and often that something is the very thing you least want to do. My situation is not as desperate as Erik’s was. I mean, I’m not facing imminent death if I don’t move forward. But I have been feeling that sense of being frozen, a damned-if-I-do-damned-if-I-don’t sensation. Recording is a typical scenario: if I book the session and head off to the studio, I will most likely feel more bad on return. Plus, the session won’t be fun, in that I don’t’ get to really rock out and all; instead, I sit on the studio’s couch and rally toward the mixing board only when necessary. However, if I don’t book the session, I can avoid all the discomfort, but obviously make no progress whatsoever on my album. Sigh.
So, to quote Townes Van Zandt, recording, for all of its miseries, is still “easier than just a-waitin' 'round to die”, which is why starting today, I am re-motivating myself to finish my album. I have already sent out a few emails, and after sending out a few more, I will have put the wheels in motion to finish my very first album, which has been a dream of mine ever since I first heard The Beatles Second Album way back in the very early 70s.
Lean forward, indeed.