Saturday, January 3, 2009

I did it the easy way

In eighth grade, the band director moved me to the bass drum because I was incompetent at learning more than a few musical notes. By ninth grade I was the percussion section leader and playing the snare.

This is not an essay on what a quick study I am, but rather on my propensity to take the easy route. Drums don't require multiple notes. One is expected to learn the flim-flam paradiddle, but I didn't do it. I just self-taught and made do since my high school band had only 35 members anyway; if they'd thrown me out they'd have lost almost 20 percent of their drum line, not to mention their best drummer.

My other passions, visual arts and writing, suffered the same fate: I went with photography, which requires nothing more than capturing an existing scene, not re-creating it with your own hand. And my writing drifted to newspaper journalism since I was too lazy to write anything of length. Today I blog.

I don't mean to downplay the importance of photography, newspaper reporting or blogging, but even Ansel Adams would have to admit it was easier to shoot Yosemite than to paint it.

And while these are mere venial sins (They pass Kant's Categorical Imperative in that my failure to fully develop my talents causes no breakdown of the societal structure.), what they point out is an overall character flaw which likely bleeds over into other, more important, areas.

For instance, why am I unmarried at 40? Why are my failures practicing my faith so profound?

The answers to these questions aren't mere lazyness. Regarding the marriage question, there's the whole issue of abandonment by my mother at age 12. But many a person is able to overcome such issues in their 20s. And failure to perform religious duties to perfection is a common grief. One shouldn't expect perfection, but one should expect to perform to the best of one's ability, grace notwithstanding.

In a buy-it-on-credit, lose-it-with-a-pill world, I find few signposts pointing me in the right direction. And if I don't want to work, the radio says it's just fine if I want to bang on the drum all day.

No comments:

Post a Comment