Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Manifestations of Fear

This blog is about fear, because fear is the number one driving force behind all negative emotions.  Fear shows up in anger, procrastination,, jealousy, lust, greed, envy, and many more negative emotions.  If you take the seven deadly sins for example, which are lust, greed, gluttony, sloth, pride, wrath, and envy, fear shows up in all of them.  What I am intending to demonstrate in this blog post is how fear can drive us in all sorts of ways.  It can rule our lives, but if we face fears the positive feeling is awesome.
  Fear=false evidence appearing real, fuck everything and run, or false expectations appearing real.  That last one can kick me in the rear sometimes.  Fear based expectations often appear right but are wrong.    Fear can also = face everything and recover, or face everything and rejoice, and I am going to add face everything and reality, or feeling exited and ready.
  There are many ways in which fear rules our thoughts and emotions.  Lets use jealousy as an example.  Why do people get jealous in relationships.  I don't claim to be a relationship expert, but I can conclude that jealousy is caused by fear of losing what we already have.  Othello is so afraid of losing Desdemona, that he kills her.  Of course he also listens to Jago who is probably the most evil villain in literature, or at least ranks up pretty high.  He doesn't get by with a little help from his friends if you know what I mean.  I will use a few examples from operas now to demonstrate the connection of fear and jealousy.  Tosca is afraid of losing Cavaradossi throughout the whole freaking opera.  He even calls her "mia gelosa."  Jealousy is pretty powerful isn't it?  Not to mention flat out dangerous and damaging.  Fear is where jealousy gets its power and goes way over the top.
    There are so many ways in which fear rules live.  I'm not going to talk about all seven deadly sins.  I was basically talking about envy in the last paragraph, but not exactly.  Envy is wanting to possess something I don't already have. Lets go back to relationships.  If I am envious, I wish to have something that another person has, like another mans wife.  If I say, well she shouldn't be with him, but she should be with me, I'm being quite envious for sure.  Now, if I ask this person to a romantic dinner and a hot tub, I am totally crossing the line, and if the other guy is jealous, then we have jealousy.  Of course the jealousy would be the result if she goes through with the romantic dinner and hot tub idea, the other guy would be afraid of losing her. 
   Sloth is another way in which fear really can kick our behinds.  I pair sloth together with procrastination.  In my experience procrastination stems off of fear.  If I am afraid to make positive changes or afraid to do auditions or whatever, I might put them off.  That's procrastination.  Sloth can play a role because something like cleaning my apartment is a positive change, and if I procrastinate it's slothful.  By sloth I am not talking about the slow moving animal that actress Kristin Bell starts crying over, although since they are slow, there is a connection to the double meaning of the word sloth.  However, all jokes aside, procrastination is totally based on fear from my experience, and can really drain us in a major way.
   There are many ways in which anger manifests, and fear plays a factor im all of it.  One of them is in the form of getting defensive.  If someone asks me something personal, by which the answer might make me vulnerable, fear shows up in the form of anger, and I can get defensive.  People respond like that with certain subjects, I'm not the only one.  Underneath the anger response is fear of failure, fear of rejection or whatever.  Fear of being vulnerable, boy that's a big trigger for anger sometimes isn't it?  Fear can show its ugly head when I'm driving in traffic.  The good news is that we can outgrow all this fear, and it is important to do so.
   I want to end this post on a positive note.  I like the acronym feeling excited and ready.  Now it depends on what we are talking about when I say that.  If I have a concert, there's going to fear of the unknown, that shows up in the form of anxiety.  Okay, so what am I going do with that?  The choices are positive, feel excited and ready, face everything and rejoice, or the negative f everything and run.  What choice results in a better concert?  Maybe there are people who can go into a concert 100% nerve free, but I am not that lucky.  Pavarotti said if you say you're not nervous you're lying.  That's a powerful statement from Pav there isn't it?  So, how do I go to the positive place?  Prepare well for the concert, and bring in positive energy.  
   The opposite of fear is faith, which is trust.  Turning fear into trust is the ultimate cure for fear .  There has to be a trust in something to face a fear, or I'll never face it.  By trust, I mean just a feeling that whatever the situation is needs to be faced.  If I have a fear that really needs to be faced, I will know because when I don't face it then the desire to f everything and run increases 100 fold, so therefore, I know I need to face that situation.  Let me ask this question.  How awesome does it feel when you face a lingering fear?  It feels like I'm on top of the world, but facing fears is a lifetime process.  Go easy on yourself about it, and if there is a fear you have on a really important issue, really put in the effort to face it.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Great Historical Singers (Mark Reizen)

Mark Reizen (1895-1992) was a Jewish-Ukranian bass who was one of the most intelligent singers I've ever heard on record.  His voice was, in my opinion a basso-cantante, with an easy upper extension, and a faster vibrato than a basso profondo.   The most important thing is that Reizen was smart.  He kept singing almost up until his death.  My goal in this post is not to present a biography, but to talk about why I think he's important in history.
   What impresses me most about Reizen is his incredible longevity, and musicianship.  He never pushes his voice in any recording I've heard of him, he excelled in opera and song, and he makes every word mean something.  I like to call music a canvas of colors.  Reizen had a wide variety of vocal colors to express the meaning of the text, including an excellent mezza voce.  He had incredible breath support, and expression.  Also, he sang Prince Gremin at age 90 on stage at the Bolshoi, in costume.  I've heard other singers on YouTube who were famous singing in their homes or studios, but on stage in costume is a different ball game.  To my knowledge this feat has not been done by any other singer.  Reizen sang recitals into his 70s and 80s, and the breath support is just incredible, and there is no wobble.  Check him out on YouTube.
     Does Reizen have the pipes of other great Slavic basses such as Ghiaurov, and Nesterenko?  In my opinion, no he doesn't, but there is so much artistry in Reizen's singing that it makes up for it.  Reizen makes Aleko's Cavatina a real jealous lament, I recommend his recording of that aria.  He really delivers the words with a nuance for each word, like a Shakespearean actor delivers a monologue.  He did that with everything I have heard him sing.  There was a unique and deep commitment in his musicality which is impossible to duplicate.  Every singer has their individual art, and Reizen's was pretty amazing.  Listen to this recording of Reizen singing Konchak's aria for an example of his great art.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

New Blog Post

Life is great as long as I allow it to be that way.  The spirit of the universe or whatever you want to call it wants everybody to have a good life I assume.  Although, a lot of bad things happen to good people, so maybe I'm not making any sense.  I do know that if I am angry, bitter, negative, and stubborn, my life can seem like it sucks really fast.  I say, can seems like it sucks, because its my perception that determines how my life is.  I think even when bad things are happening to people, tragedies, illnesses, etc..., there is a finish line in sight.  If I want to have a full and rich life, I have to ask myself, am I being kind to myself and others, am I trusting the universe, treating women with dignity and respect, loving what I do?  Am I experiencing life in general, or am I pissed about the past, angry, bitter, negative, eating poorly and what not?  It's all about choosing how I perceive my life.    How I perceive my life results in how I live it, and that's determined by negative or positive behaviors, resulting from my thinking.

    Here's a really clear example of negative versus positive behaviors.  If someone I know has a girlfriend, and I'm pissed that she's not my girlfriend, or if I am happy for the couple, or best yet not even cut into their business in my concioussness.  The first behavior I mentioned, which is jealousy, not only hurts me, but it hurts them too.  Whereas, thinking positive thoughts about them, and staying out of their business helps them and myself.  These are choices.  Now, this has nothing to do with whether I think they belong together.  That's not my concern.  It's for them to figure out themselves.  Guess what, I have no control over whether a couple is together or not, even if I think the woman should be with me.  
   I am talking about all this because when I partake in negative behaviors and thinking, my life stinks.  Negativity causes many problems.  It causes health problems, relationship problems, poor decisions, plus it wastes the short time we have in life.  Why does my chronic Lyme disease act up sometimes?  It's because I'm pissed off or in a self pity state.  I am doing good things today like writing this blog post, and I feel pretty solid and refreshed.  My thoughts are pretty centered too.  I'm talking about negativity which isn't necessary, like being jealous, pissed off, projecting negative results, playing out future and past scenarios, trying to get even.  Where's the present with all that shit?  Well it's now, but I'm not living in it.  The present is fine.  Learn from the past, that's the whole point of this blog, but why regret it?  It's too late, time machines are in Back to the Future, and Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, not in real life.   I'll end by saying, that if I am in a negative mind set full of rage and what not, I feel like shit, and vice versa.  The end.