Aside from the primary elements of this article, this touches on something we don't talk about much and I don't think about it half as much as I used to, when I was younger. I used to be much more concerned with the topic of quality in life, art and action.
It is now more intrinsic in my life and in my writing so I don't have the need to think much about it now than I did before, as I've come to some conclusions about it over time.
Things like, well... life, family, kids, bills, surviving, keeping one's head above water, These all replaced those seemingly more esoteric concerns of what Life is, what Perfection is, and just what is Quality? Where do they fit in the mired functionalism of living, as opposed to being, "alive"?
Or, Living as opposed to surviving, or merely existing.
Getting along, eating, paying bills to live (home, expenses, insurances, healthcare, licenses, permits, even vehicle license tabs, etc.), these all seemed to take over.
For me, the military (eventually making me more sensitive to the degree of their control over my life), and then after that the government in general, became very important in order to avoid falling under their heels.
Especially because of the culture I grew up and and lived through in my late teens, twenties and early thirty. College dampened those concerns for me about authority in my life for four years as I was living in its closeted and protected environment. Then later eventually, when I was making it as an individual, as a citizen, a husband and father, these things in my life took over.
Idealism seems to be one of the first victims of adulthood for many of us. Partially because it needs it's place and need not be the end all, be all of life, for us to survive. Idealism in some views is merely foolishness and an immature view of Life.
But in reality, not completely and it does after all and in the end, have its place. A very important place.
One does find a need to compromise in life, in order to make it. It is those who do not compromise, who we hear of, who we hold in highest esteem. Some of us have lost it completely, as life can crush you underfoot.
We do not have to compromise in some areas and music is one of those elementary forces in our lives where we simply don't have to compromise. We can be as elitist as we see fit, or necessary. Art and Literature are yet others. Cinema, is yet another.
And yet, does music mean as much to you now as it may once have as a teenager, or during your early twenties? Did you even truly understand Quality back then?
It is good to consider the smallest unit of things as times. The tiny, minuscule, the moments that "don't matter", the things that "aren't important". Moments, not minutes. A sound played just right, over that of a song. A look, over that of a time shared. To appreciate the look within the time shared and not just the over all time that was shared. "Sensate focus", over lovemaking.
We tend to see the macro over the micro, when many times it is the micro that is so important to us and we completely miss what is the wonder in an experience.
Much in life is about the journey, not the destination.
If you've lost those tiny things, they are still there for you to reclaim them. It is up to us to re-evaluate our lives from time to time and consider where we've been, where we are, and where we want to be heading in all aspects of our lives. Especially, in those we have full control over.
Here is one example: Jazz music. I know, I may have just lost many of you. Certainly those who dislike Jazz music. Still in Richard Brody's article (see link below), he talks of these things I mentioned above and I do believe they apply not just to Jazz, not just to music, or the arts, literature, or the cinema. But to life itself and, our very lives.
It's something to think about.
Richard Brody Lists His Perfect Jazz Recordings....