Saturday, June 20, 2015

Pathways Musical and Otherwise

A couple of weeks ago I was thinking about my youngest brother while I was hiking in the woods. He goes to concerts several times a week--sometimes more than one on any given day. He picks some of his concerts because of associations he has with the people who are playing, and he picks some of his concerts for the music that is being played. Often the concerts he chooses are given by musicians who know one or another person in our family, so his associations become more and more personal as he continues to follow his musical paths

I love to hike in the woods. I love following trails because they help me make sense of the immediate world at hand. I have to trust that a well-worn trail will lead me safely to wonderful places in the woods, and I have to trust that a good trail will lead me safely out of the woods. Sometimes there are choices to be made when trails intersect, and I have to go with the experience that the trail I pick gives me on that particular day, and on that particular walk. If I take the same trail through the woods on different days, the trail will be different because of the nature of the living things that live by the trail.

For me the concert-going experience is more similar to following trails in the woods than the record-listening experience because of the physical commitment, but the record-listening experience does have its own mappable pathways. It is also possible to map pathways in literature, poetry, drama, film, philosophy, science, sports, and even food.

One thing leads to another.

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