The simple beauty of turning the pedals brings much pleasure. The rhythm of exertion, balancing breathing against the insistent pain in the muscles.
This week has brought high wind and rain, which whilst not pleasant per se, still somehow contribute to the vitality of the activity. A solid battering of precipitation, buffeted by freezing winds, will connect you to nature faster than anything else I’ve encountered.
External to the endorphin rush and the elemental exposure, there is a curious reward in turning the pedals in and of itself.
The predictability of the motion and its outcome, the direct relationship between exertion (cause) and speed (effect). My expectations are met and reinforced with every sortie.
So it is with drumming, drop the stick and it will rebound with predictable consistency. You can, with sufficient time and assiduity, harness this kinetic energy into something like playing the drums. Not that the drums can ever be conquered but that shouldn’t stop you from trying.
For all the understanding these repetitious activities promote; of self, the body and the physical realm, there is an evasion with them.
Every cycle of motion takes time, that is, time has passed, but the experience of the practitioner is one of timelessness. Every stroke is an attempt at living in that exact moment, personal time slows and the demise of body and soul seems somehow pushed back a little.
We lose ourselves in such activities; the promise of demonstrable progress, excellence even, is all the allure and excuse we need to engage in their habitual pursuit.
Compulsion borne of neuroses perhaps but at least there’s a tangible, even laudable, outcome. One has to spend one’s time doing something after all.
That being said, I’ve never been able to really enjoy straight-up duff music. It’s perpetual loop of one beat seems like too obvious an attempt to cheat the reaper through repetition, it asks you to do the work without the enjoyment of getting better at anything.
We have to make sure our repetition doesn’t become mechanical, which can be harder than it sounds as it’s easy to deceive ourselves in this regard.
Still, time will not be cheated and I have made the self-evident decision to document my practice here. Right now, for me, there is no practicing of the instrument that isn’t focussed towards a performative outcome. On video. For your delectation.
Now to magic up the additional time required to make the fetishised music product (LP?).