When I feel stressed, I set aside my aspirations and ambitions for awhile to focus on other people, get out into nature, or spend time with friends. And when chaotic and competing demands overwhelm me, I just sit still and do nothing.
Counterintuitively, inaction is often the best course of action. In the silence, clarity may be restored before the dance begins anew.
I try to phrase like a singer, so I listen to a lot of vocalists, especially Ella Fitzgerald. And because I favor a melodic, lyrical approach to improvisation, most of the jazz instrumentalists I listen to are also from that tradition -- people like Stan Getz, Miles Davis, Paul Desmond, Chet Baker, Art Farmer and Ben Webster.
Received a letter from Dad today,
poetry enclosed, as is his habit:
"Here's a poem by the Kentucky farmer Wendell Berry.
It may be almost the perfect poem for me,
so I wanted y'all to read it too..." LOOK IT OVER
I leave behind even
my walking stick. My knife
is in my pocket, but that
I have forgot. I bring
no car, no cell phone,
no computer, no camera,
no CD player, no fax, no
TV, not even a book. I go
into the woods. I sit down on
a log provided at no cost.
It is the earth I've come to,
the earth itself, sadly
abused by the stupidity
only humans are capable of
but, as ever, itself. Free.
A bargain! Get it while it lasts!
"I'd rather hear Thad Jones miss a note
than hear Freddie Hubbard make twelve." ~Miles Davis
“Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?
He thinks I don't know the ten-dollar words. I know them all right.
But there are older and simpler and better words,
and those are the ones I use.” ~Ernest Hemingway
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
~Leonardo da Vinci