Monday, April 13, 2009

Breaking through the barriers

One of My more vexing struggles concerns the subject of speed. I seem to regularly hit the wall when trying to do something fast. It can be a reverse punch or an arpeggio; either way, I get to a point where it just doesn't seem to get any faster.

But now, things are finally starting to change. The problem is both physiological and psychological.

I got the first clue a few months ago, in karate class: Speed requires relaxation. It isn't easy to get an arm or leg moving, then relax it, then tighten it up again at the point of kime; but subsequent developments indicate that yes, it is actually possible. The moment I stopped fighting my own punches, as it were, they did move distinctly faster than before.

My clarinet teacher has been helping Me deal with the psychological aspects of the speed problem. At its heart, this is a matter of trust. After playing a wide variety of material over a period of nearly four years, My hands do, in fact, know where all the notes are. My conscious mind, on the other hand, isn't quite sure about that; and it keeps interrupting.

So that's what I'm working on at the moment: Dealing with the mental block caused by inappropriate attention and unwanted dialogue. One thing that seems to be helping is practicing in strict rhythm, with a metronome. While the rhythmic practice builds up more precisely-triggered muscle memory in My hands, the ticking metronome gives My conscious mind something to keep it occupied and out of the way.

And, after I've got the rhythm working a bit more reliably, it'll be time to concentrate again on relaxation. All in all, an interesting problem.

Friday, April 10, 2009

All your Easter are belong to us.

The above phrase is My signature line on many of the Internet fora that I frequent. On this day, "Good" Friday 2009, I feel it's appropriate to enumerate some of the reasons for rejecting the strange and gory message of "salvation" that certain religions have attached to My season...

Heaven, Hell and My Bodhisattva Vow

Rejecting John 3:16

You're Kidding Me... Right?

The Combination Lock of Religion

All the Rage

Grow Up, Already!

The Crucifixion Proves the Unjust Nature of the Christian God

Agnostic Goddess Seeks Talking Snake for Fun and Companionship

Flame War

Tolerance and Toxicity

What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been...

There's more, a lot more... I've been travelling the length and breadth of the Internet for years, and have posted over 4,000 comments on organized religion, personal spirituality, morality, human rights, and how they interact.

Why do I do this? Because I want humanity to survive.

And I shall not permit religion -- Any religion! -- to stand in the way of this goal.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Cult of the Velvet Schnauzer

Script Frenzy is on, and I am now fifteen pages into a rather weird little radio play.

Synopsis: One very stormy Tuesday night, a mysterious man arrives at a collectibles shop with a rather special black velvet painting. Chaos ensues.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

In the pink!

On this most holy of days, I extend warm Springy Goddess greetings and a piping hot ham and pineapple pizza to My esteemed colleague, the Invisible Pink Unicorn.

May Your holy hooves never be shod!