So I'm in the market for a piano these days, a portable piano, that is, with 88 fully-weighted keys and action that mimics a "real" piano. A superb (according to many customer reviews) keyboard with MIDI compatibility like this here Yamaha P60, so that I can learn to play properly and write songs for that damned musical I keep yakking about.
Or wait, I do want to write songs but I'm not really piano-proficient. Maybe I want a keyboard that offers more bells and whistles, additional tones, easier plug-n-play, a cool screen that converts what I write into notated music, so I can learn to read, and a little less verisimilitude. A keyboard-keyboard, like the Yamaha PSR3000 or the Casio Privia PX-400R.
Shit. I need to learn the right way and I need all that electronic crap that I can feed through my computer. Maybe what I really need is more room: a house, with a living room for an upright, an extra bedroom to put all my gear, and no neighbors on the other side of thin walls and floors to complain about vibrations, noise and odd practice hours.
But I can't afford to buy into the L.A. housing market, not if I want to retain my footloose and fancy-free itinerant lifestyle. I'd have to move to another city, maybe a small town somewhere, get a real job with benefits and a steady enough paycheck to qualify me for a loan.
Of course, then I'd pretty much have to write off this musical idea entirely. How many people in Norman, Oklahoma or Ames, Iowa are writing musicals? My writing partner sure as hell isn't moving there.
Then again, I can always try writing alone. It might be good for me to fly solo, develop more discipline as a writer, get to know my own voice. And there's no reason it has to be musicals or plays or screenplays that I'm writing. I can tell my truth any way I damned well please, maybe via those novels I'd always imagined myself writing back in my tortured youth.
Or hell, maybe I could give up all my lofty aspirations. They're so weighty and confusing: baggage in their own right. Maybe I should pull a John Freyer and get back to what I had when I was starting out: a car and what fit in it. Hit the road, see where it took me, get a Stupid Day Job that would let me get by and just blog in my spare time.
No, that's a halfway measure. If I'm going to go for it, I've got to go all out: simplify to the point where I need nothing; meditate through my everyday tasks and make my creative output the life I lead.
On the other hand, maybe that's just running away. My mess followed me from Chicago to Ithaca, from Ithaca to New York, from New York back to Chicago and on out to Los Angeles. It followed me from Y&R to DDB to BBV. It followed me from relationship to relationship, apartment to apartment, diversion to diversion, usually leaving a trail of expensive clutter in its wake.
Maybe it's time to just take in the mess...to accept that there will always be confusion and clutter and dozens shiny objects slightly out of reach all vying for my scattered attention.
Maybe it's time to sit down in my cramped, imperfect apartment and practice my scales on my crappy, imperfect toy keyboard with visions of my unfocused, imperfect life swirling around my cluttered, imperfect brain.
Maybe the way in is really the way out.
With gratitude to the messy and wonderful mind of Evelyn Rodriguez.
House image from WestLosAngelesRealty.com: read 'em & weep...