Thursday, February 12, 2009

Easy Enlightenment 2/12/09

There's plenty things you can learn every day. Every day.

Billy Eckstine

Are you ready for your valentine?
The first time I saw Billy Eckstine sing was on TV way back in the late 40s. In those days the only black entertainers one saw on network television were usually tap dancers. That was when we were told they all had "natural rhythm." Remember that?
(All rhythm is natural, folks. Ask any drummer, black, white or otherwise.)

Mr. B was born in 1914, started singing at the age of 7, and became a major influence in the jazz world all the way up to the 80's. He had his own orchestra, sang and played the trumpet. He gave many jazz greats their start.
The trick to learning things every day is being alert. The first thing I have to remind myself of is that there is going to be something there to learn, every day, Sometimes I go looking for it and sometimes I don't.

Then I have to notice the lesson when it comes. I have to remember to ask myself if it is something I knew yesterday. If not, I then have to wrap it up in my mind as a gift, to be opened whenever I need it. Sometimes learning the new thing means throwing out the old thing. So be it. I try to avoid sitting in the quicksand of the "tried and true."

I have stacks of books on all sorts of topics that interest me. Some of them are about things that have absolutely no vital bearing on my life. But so what? I'm learning about the efforts of the Indians to shake loose of the British Empire's control of their country. I'm learning about the origins of the biblical word "Leviathan," I'm learning about the difference between "vague" and "borderline" cases. I'm learning about the life of Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus). And I'm learning about classical realism in modern art.

Those things interest me. But they don't interest me until I start the journey, until I open the book and start to read or go outside and start looking around. And that's the other trick. I have to overcome the inertia of not looking for new things, not being open to grasp them and not paying attention to what is around me.

Knowing that is one of the new things I've learned.

DB Vagabond Journeys

Sweeten up your life a little bit today. You deserve it.


a corgi said...

I never heard of Billy Eckstine, DB, thanks for telling us a little about him; he must have been awesome to watch perform.

I think once we stop having the desire to learn new things, I think that's when we have lost hope in ourselves, our situation, our health, etc. Learning and using our brain like this helps keep us going and productive, I think.

good words today :)


Beth said...

Ahh, a subject near and dear to my heart. I'm not sure why some things grip me and make me want to learn more, but I love just going with the flow. I'm notorious (and who doesn't want to be notorious for something?) for grabbing hold of a subject and just letting it drag me along. After our first visit to New Orleans, I bought numerous books about the history, the architecture, the homes, etc. Same with Las Vegas. And of course, Route 66.

It's all good. I'd probably be a mightily bored woman if I weren't a curious cat. :)

Love, Beth

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

My goal is to never lose my curiosty, and to not be a cat. Cuz you know what they say....

Leigh said...

You are so right about being alert to life's teachings. All you have to do is pay attention.
My curiousity is always being tweaked about new things, sometimes I have to place that learning on hold-as real life has a cruel way if interrupting my "classtime", requiring me to go to work, laundry, etc...

:) Leigh

Gerry said...

I found no outrage worse than finding that a director I had okayed myself thinking I could 'help' her if she got in trouble, was not capable of accepting help from the playwright. My play was a farce and she was under rehearsing it, as well as not having any idea how fast she was going to have to pace it. I told my son who had one of the comic leads that she was ruining it. He said, "I told you she would not listen to anyone." all she would do when he said anything to her was have a big fight with him which she loved doing. When my mother had a stroke I had to close the play down before it opened, which I was only willing to do because I came to think she wanted it to fail. Eventually this woman who was my son's theater company business partner enraged him so much he walked away from the company after ten years leaving her all the assets, ordering her never to speak to him again. He knew she would have just loved to fight over any thing at all he tried to claim. I decided she was retarded in some vital way, and we both had to try to learn from our experiences with her.