I am past fifty. I noticed changes in my parents as they grew older. It was more that I began to notice patterns in them, that something was changing. I noticed it in my mother’s art work. Somehow, it was not as clear. Since I noticed these changes, yet did not really look, I did not clearly define what was happening.
I also noticed changes in string performers. There is a difference between someone who is present when they play and someone who is moving in automated ways. They say, that one should not hear a performer thinking, it gets in the way, and the music loses some of its depth. It is to say that when a performer is present, one is more focused, and thus the listener is more engaged. It is in many ways an intimacy. Even performing with others has an intimacy that makes one really vulnerable. One is very exposed, especially to the trained ear.
Yet, is this something, that when someone is present while playing, that they catch the focus of others? How can this be? Also, to qualify, there are audience members, or listeners that do not hear. They come to hear a piece just to say that they heard the piece, and usually these are listeners that do not listen! To them everything is wonderful and the performer is almost a god that has some special talent. If one asks what they liked, they cannot give any real definition to their likes. It astounded me for a long time. It is why I so often did not want to remain after a performance to greet the audience. It was somehow painful, yet that is my judgement.
Every moment of life is really about being present. As I age, I notice that it is so easy to follow the habit of thinking. Even when I can with greater ease, let things go when I notice I tense up and want to react, calling out something I see as a limited perspective, which is a starting point of judgement because I am reacting to an ego, and thus I move more as agenda than solution; than investigation, than assessment. It is a fear that I lose something I define myself as, or that i have no standing, or that I can be defined by what another voices. This is myself standing in separation from what is always here, as the physical.
What I am defined as what is all of me, I am physical, this is the means of my expression. What is called out, in thought, word and deed, need not define me. Yes, if someone were to suddenly appear with a gun and shoot me, I would die - more than likely- yet what is voiced and promoted as measure, as idea, as belief, as opinion, as words, need not define who and what I am because it is, as words, about something, it is not what is manifest as the physical. And yet, what I practice as thoughts as ideas about here, can become automated within and as what motivates me as this physical state of being. If I allow ideas and beliefs and opinions to be who and what I am, without constant reference and reverence to all of me, I begin to lose my connection to life, to the physical.
I can sense this within myself, and I could, though I did not name it as such, in my parents. The disconnect from the physical world manifests in physical movements in people as they age. It gets more difficult to drive, it gets more difficult to listen, it gets more difficult to travel. It gets more difficult to open jars, and to take care of a house. I have seen this many times with aging people. And they see this as a norm. It cannot be normal. It is the opposite of normal. It is the consequence of a separation from the physical world, from being present, from focusing on here. It is a separation from being engaged to here. lol, I ask myself why reproductive relationships are so dominant in all stories! Why are these singular relationships in a world of physical relationships made so HUGE as the focus of each of us? This is a distraction, this is enlarging something to remove one’s presence from reality. In a normal development, this would occur in a natural way. It would be a physical thing where two people would come together to reproduce. At the moment, as our society, it is forced. It begs the question as to how present we are. Are we really ‘ playing’ the instrument of ourselves as physical bodies on a physical world?
One can ask one’s self; How present are you? Can you conceptually process information with ease? Can you stand before something you have never done, a physical task, and use your innate spatial skill to realize the form and the function of what physically is before you, and then move with care and presence into moving with it in practical ways?
In some ways, I have not wanted to perform because it ends up being a situation where i am asked to perform all the time. I have taken this in different ways. One is becoming entertainment - and cheap entertainment as I was asked to get grants to pay for performances- this being me who performs and spends hours writing for grants so I can perform. A real disconnect from reality in relation to the people who have asked me to do this. I am always astounded.
The second, is this sense of people being drawn to me, as this idea that they come and suck something out of me. When in effect, if I perform with presence, it is that a person who is separated from being present is drawn to someone who is present- unless they are so removed, from having allowed an entity of belief to define who and what they are above , or before, a respect of the physical. One can get a resistance to presence, one can get those who desire presence and yet cannot clearly define an attraction to the greater degree of presence in another, and one can get those who recognize presence- and even here, may not be able to define this - lol it is ineffable in so many ways.
Thus, our behaviors within us, are visible in every move we make, as to how present we are in this physical world. The solution to our loss of direct interaction with life, is to respect the physical world around us in every moment. this means we have to stop thinking and start being present. Everything that is moving in the mind, is a thought about here, it is equal in degree to one’s level of presence in reality- the physical. Our presence has to be here, focused here, in every breath. If we are in thoughts we are in separation from life. In this, our imaginations shows us the correct use of what we are. If we are building an entity as a picture in our minds of right and wrong, without taking action, to cross reference, we are making what is in our minds larger than life. When what we believe becomes larger than the physical world around us, we lose our presence to and towards all things. This manifests through time as a loss of perception of the space around us. It becomes harder to do the most simple of things in our daily lives. Thus, the marker of our separation from considering all things is visible in every movement we take. In essence, we are what we allow ourselves to focus upon. We are the directors of our own lives. Where we go will determine the quality of our life. Do you remember what you did last year at this time? What would a life of being present in the physical reality be?