One: On this last trip to California, we were using a new kind of laptop set up, which entailed some interesting finagling in the somewhat unfamiliar world of WiFi. We ended up picking up strong signals, and finding we could do basic things like access the web, retrieve emails, etc, but we couldn’t actually SEND anything. So here were all these little email replies, sitting in the out box, forlornly waiting for their chance to sling across cyberspace into a tiny little box somewhere else in the world.

Two: After one of the private concerts in Rancho Santa Fe, a woman was asking me all kinds of questions about my creative process, our family background in music, what kind of artists I like to listen to, etc. It was a flattering conversation for the ego, since it kept getting redirected to me. . . my preferences, my habits, my history. But in its delicious indulgence — hmm, me-me-me-me-me, oh! and a little more about me — it got increasingly uncomfortable. It’s not only rude to only talk about yourself, even if asked I think, but it’s unbalanced. It causes the effort and rewards of a conversation to lean way too hard in one direction, which feels (and is) just OFF. And you miss the opportunity to learn and discover… (So in this case, I asked her more about her relationship to music, and found out some things that inspired me deeply!)

Three: I have an acquaintance who has a habit of ‘talking over’ other people, in the sense that other people’s comments in a conversation are ignored or dashed over in lieu of this person continuing her story. Even if hers doesn't happen to be a particularly compelling story. And this happens even if the comments were complimentary to her or to the tale at hand (which I find fascinating, since isn’t it attention she’s seeking?). I find myself drained after our interactions, even if they’re short. Just empty and frustrated. So we don’t spend much time together these days.

Four: One of the theories of performance that I love is the idea of “performance circuitry” (I am making up this name for it — there is probably a real and better title for it somewhere). It’s the idea that a performer cannot just go up there and PROJECT out at the audience and think they’ve put on a great show. There must be give and take. There must be a “circuit” of energy that begins on both sides, with the audience’s excitement (energy) building and the performer’s nervousness or anticipation (energy) building, and a constant giving and receiving of this energy throughout the show. Without it, it feels to me like a performer is playing ‘’at” me, instead of for me (or more appropriately, with me).  A “dead” audience can be resuscitated…as can an exhausted touring band, just by the proper exchange of energy.

So…there is meaning in this series of signs to me. I feel more and more strongly that it is a basic human need to CONTRIBUTE.  To matter.  To be heard.  To be felt.  To resonate.

Without it, we feel impotent in our environments, frustrated in our friendships, anonymous in our worlds.  When we are allowed and encouraged to CONTRIBUTE, suddenly our worldview takes on a significance and a power that makes us feel alive. And important in some ways. And valued. And respected.

The movement of blogging represents for me that desire for people to create forums for their own ideas. I love sharing pieces of my world and creative leaps and hopes and milestones (and even disappointments) with you. Because this is a contribution. But even more, I love it when you write back, and comment in the forums and here, because then there is a balance — a beautiful giving and receiving that is increasingly rare.

Thank you for your contributions that you’re all making all over the world today.

love, mb

5 Things I’m Thankful For Today:
1. Progress in resolving some long standing problems with “The Orchard” — a music distribution company with whom I’ve had “issues”
2. Halloween Candy & homemade butternut squash soup — the tastes of Autumn…
3. Our nice dinner with Ryan and Susie last night
4. Helpful music industry people in L.A.
5. A great, long meditation today

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