Little Stuff

02009-04-23 | Uncategorized | 6 comments

I didn’t like the Ultrasone headphones when I first listened to them on Tuesday afternoon. Since I had read that they need to be burned in for a while in order to develop nice bass – it’s very flabby and overwhelming at the beginning – I left them running for several hours and had iTunes pump a random selection of music through them. Yesterday evening they started to sound quite nice.

People are a like old oak tables. Knives cut into the table accidentally, sharp object are dropped on it, liquids are spilled on it and it may become either more beautiful because of that… or useless. It’s in the way we carry our scars that makes us appear beautiful or ugly.

Rode my fixie to my breakfast-klatsch with Jon. It’s almost perfect, as it silently glides along… the handlebar should be about 2 inches higher. Will have to investigate options with David @ Mellow Velo.

Was driving my car the other day, maybe Monday, and a thought came into my mind. In the car it felt like beautiful, if ephemeral thought, or maybe more like a feeling… After I came home, I could not express it well. I wrote some of it down anyway:

Happy, sad or enlightened? There are millions of books on those three subjects. I doubt that they are very useful, really. The old oak table needs to be aged and patinated (((I had to look that verb up!!))) in order to shine… A lot of people assume that happiness or enlightenment should be a permanent all-encompassing state. In fact, doesn’t the brain always look for some kind of permanence, something that does not change… or it defers permanence to the future – and if it can’t find anything permanent in this lifetime, it may find it in its next lifetime or in the afterlife – depending on your religious preference.

We have discovered that there is no such thing as one measure of intelligence. There are many levels and lines of intelligence. Math intelligence, emotional intelligence… a person might score off-the-chart on a Western intelligence test and might be unfit to tie their shoes, not to mention being able to hold a conversation. Having accepted that there are many, many different lines of intelligence, we should accept that happiness and enlightenment are similar, not a permanent state, but an opening that has many levels and can always be deepened. I heard Stephen Batchelor say Enlightened about WHAT exactly? Or, there are so many different lines and levels of enlightenment – which of them are you talking about?

Or take happiness – isn’t happiness just a way to accept what is here anyway. Otherwise happy would change a million times a day. They kept you on hold too long when you called the phone company, somebody cut you off in traffic, your cellphone fell between your car’s pedals etc. etc…

And that reminded me of this. Long-time meditators, monks even, have been known to fall apart at the sight of a woman, or alcohol or drugs. They had advanced very far along one particular line, but had not advanced at all along others?

Happiness and sadness seem only skin-deep with most of us. When we win, when things go our way, we are happy. A few drops of rain and some bad news and we are sad. Above the clouds the sky is always the same. White clouds, dark clouds, a storm or a clear sky… above it the sky is always blue.

Anyway, it is interesting that all of those words are merely a bad interpretation of a little feeling or thought that probably lasted a few seconds.

This afternoon: soundcheck for a private performance that Jon and I are doing this evening. We decided on upright bass and my Flamenca negra. It’s a wonderful rumble, when he bows the beast!


  1. Brenda

    Pretty Wow stuff! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Carolynn

    I love it when you share thoughts like these.
    It’s hard to interpret (I need spell check)these random and fleeting thoughts. You did a good job, even if you don’t think so. ;)

  3. yumi

    The, “patina”. The beaten, weathered beauty of, “sabi”.

    I think that you are right on every single word written there. If we had no more time than this given, how would we use it? What would give it meaning? Waste no time thinking about enlightenment nor happiness even. You can read about happiness and enlightenment, take a course in it…the injection is short-lived. Life’s course…the road’s texture has a tendency to change quickly.

    “Anyway, it is interesting that all of those words are merely a bad interpretation of a little feeling or thought that probably lasted a few seconds.”
    Maybe a little feeling, but the impact was there.

    Jon and the upright bass. Just the two of you…very nice. Would be great to hear that!

  4. Steve

    Ottmar …

    I’m curious which Ultrasone headphones you tested, and how you feel they compare to the Stax?

  5. Brenda

    Old oak table is calm and created out of love to be useful.
    Old oak table waits patiently and accepts quiet of night,
    bustle of morning sunlight, fast pace walk of day, and relaxing laughter of evening. Old oak table is filled with happiness of memories. Old oak table openly accepts all of God’s creation. Old oak table is filled with happiness to no longer be a sapling but perserved life’s choices to stand strong, true and wise and most importantly to be useful.

  6. Thomas Faes

    “…doesn’t the brain always look for some kind of permanence…” – die meisten Kunstwerke entstehen wohl vor diesem Hintergrund. To pin down something. To grab a hold.

    To make some medicine:)

    To quote somebody: There is no art, there’s only medicine

    I remember you writing about to ‘stay liquid’ once. Liquidity, that goes over maybe also in the work of art. Liquidity risk.

    I liked that, and kept that in mind since for my own peace of mind in my guitarplaying. Maybe you like to check my Myspace site. I did a little jam over John Coltrane. It’s quite liquid for my ears. Thanks Ottmar.


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