The Zig Zag of Practice

Sometimes you walk a straight line and then a roadblock presents itself right in front of you. Due to the various health issues that have become my personal roadblocks, I have barely played any music in the last 4 months. In fact, almost all of my gear is packed up in my basement studio, like is was a few months ago when I had it ready to go for a gig I never played. 

I have had restrictions on not lifting anything over 10 pounds/4.54Kg. Now if you are a percussionist, 95% of the gear you own weighs over 10 pounds! So even setting up my stands and unpacking things is out of the question. Even the act of picking up sticks or mallets has been out of the question, because the act of lifting my arms and striking an instrument is too much strain. As it stands, my everyday connection and practice of playing music has ground to a halt.

Practice is never a straight line to a fixed goal. It is always a mixture of moments of confusion and moments of clarity, periods of discouragement and periods of aspiration, times of feeling like a failure and times of going deeper.—Ezra Bayda, “Reflect, Without Thinking

In the meantime I've had to adjust my course. This blog has become one adjustment. Writing a book has become another. But at first I could barely muster the energy to type out words. So I thought. When I had clarity, I thought. When I didn't have clarity, I let myself drift on the current of healing. I have continually made adjustments to my course. I've also abandoned expectations, because each day has presented itself as something different. It's been impossible to try and navigate a straight line.

And through all of this, 
I have been frustrated. 
I have been discouraged.
I have been confused.
I have been utterly shattered to pieces.

But in the midst of all this,
I have hung in there.
I have kept moving forward.
I have found my deeper self.

I have learned that my art is internal, not external.

No matter what happens, 
I still have my art.
I still am my art.

And I still have my art as a spiritual practice, even if it comes up against many detours and roadblocks.

Your Practice is always you.

~ MB


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