Saturday, October 15, 2022

 this blog now closed because of problems with the feed - archive remains here but posting resumes here at Thinkige Kru 2

Thursday, October 13, 2022

 "Thought is the enemy of flow." - Vinnie Colaiuta

A famous drummer I'd never heard of until I saw someone post this quote - but apparently he is King Drummer, toast of the technical mags.

I wondered if it's true

In life

In writing

Or any kind of creative practice

I sort of think it's bunk, but then I'm very wedded to thought and thinking. Takes a lot to turn it off.

But I wondered if it might not even be true in music

(I'm not a musician so can't really speak to that)

But yeah thought - thought is flow, isn't it? Even linear thought is flow - just channeled a bit.

(This whole thing of being anti-linearity is very dated and '90s I think.)

(Yet also makes me of that Edward de Bono fellow and his "lateral thinking" paperbacks that you'd see, or I'd see at any rate, in the 1970s. Stuff that was made to be the stuff of management retraining seminars - "get your executives thinking outside the box and increase your profits" )


maybe sports is where this maxim of the world-famous drummer does apply

is this what sports people mean when they talk about being "in the zone" - where it's all automatic and reflexive...

perhaps sports is like a reversion to the state of grace of the animal - the instinctive movements of the predator and the prey

animals follow the rules of their nature, responds to the threats or opportunities provided by other creatures who are following the rules of their nature

no deliberation, no self-doubt, no decisions to made as such


i am a supremely mediocre tennis player, but playing tennis I have felt something like this flow, and it is a kind of animal-like ecstasy of action, you make a shot that outwits your opponent and you feel like a wily fox... you leap like a leopard to make a difficult return...

football or a team sports, perhaps that is more like herd-consciousness or pack-consciousness - depending on whether in the defensive or attacking mode maybe - the antelope or the wolf


is "flow" just a near-synonym for "be here now? so not thought is the enemy so much as either future-oriented thinking (planning, anxiety, anticipation) OR past-oriented thinking (memory, regret, retracing footsteps etc) - anything that detracts/distracts from the moment-to-moment thinking

i have played games maybe a dozen times in my life but i should imagine as Corpsey suggests the flow-state is a major part of the attraction

i wonder where gambling fits in this - it's not quite in the moment but there's a tremendous tension directed towards a moment to come (the horse crosses the line, the hand of cards is revealed) but it's so imminent and so tensed that all else is blotted out - all other worries in your life contract to this single Worry. I wouldn't know, i'm not a gambler, but I did just recently watch California Split, the great Altman film about addicted gamblers

those automatons you see at the fruit machines in Vegas are in a kind of flow (which begs the question of whether there are state-of-grace flows and profane, profoundly-fallen flows)

(in Vegas there is actually a college of Gambling Studies, a grim looking building on the outskirts of town)


the combination of focus, challenge, flow and resistance to flow is probably why puzzle books are so popular, especially with middle aged and elderly folk - their equivalent of games actually

solitaire also

playing chess must be where thought and flow are the same thing - wouldn't know, supremely mediocre chess player -

chinese checkers though (more my level) is thoughtflowtastic - it's problem solving but short term - and nothing real at stake


"play" is the word - playing music, playing games, playing the flow 

child-games especially (chase, hide and seek, etc) are pure flow 

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

"One writes out of one thing only—one’s own experience. Everything depends on how relentlessly one forces from this experience the last drop, sweet or bitter, it can possibly give. This is the only real concern of the artist." - James Baldwin

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

 “What becomes apparent on listening to an amplified well-tuned drone that La Monte has sculpted is a molecular world of sounds whose workings are ordinarily covered up by fancy rhythmic and melodic footwork. As the listener allows himself or herself to be drawn deeper into the sound, he or she becomes more and more astounded at all the elements that are functioning naturally without the aid of normal manipulation or musical performance... We enter with him here into the world of the sonic microcosm, where an interval becomes a landscape, each detail illuminated.”

Terry Riley, on La Monte Young 

(via Mike McGonigal)

Thursday, September 29, 2022

"I wanted to be an old man when I was a little kid. Wore my granddaddy’s hat, used his cane, and lowered my voice. I was dying to be old. I paid a lot of attention to old people. The music I listened to as a teenager was old-people music. Yeah, I heard The Beatles, but I didn’t really pay attention. I was suspicious of anyone new and young. I don’t know, probably a respect thing? My father left when I was about eleven—I think I looked up to older musicians like father figures. Louis Armstrong or Bing Crosby or Nat King Cole or Howlin’ Wolf—I never really thought about it that way, but maybe it was that I needed parental guidance or something." - Tom Waits

“Most artists you hear are really doing bad imitations of other people, And they’re afraid you’re going to notice it. If Howlin’ Wolf told you he was really trying to sound like Jimmie Rodgers, you’d say ‘nice try, missed it by a mile.’ Well, that mile is his work…. To me, what artists do is take in all this information and send back a picture of something that’s moving. Recordings are like little postings, an ongoing conversation that’s part of living culture. You’re always sending feelers out, to find new protein or carbohydrates, and sometimes what you bring back is a Salvation Army relic. Sometimes the most pleasant thing is to go backwards.” - Tom Waits

both from Paul Maher's Tom Waits on Tom Waits: Interviews and Encounters 

Saturday, September 24, 2022

"What makes the man of the world-cities incapable of living on any but this artificial footing is that the cosmic beat in his being is ever decreasing, while the tensions of his waking consciousness become more and more dangerous.... Beat and tension, blood and intellect, Destiny and Causality, are to one another as the countryside in bloom is to the city of stone, as something existing per se to something existing dependently. Tension without cosmic pulsation to animate it is the transition to nothingness. But Civilisation is nothing but tension. 

 "Intelligence is only the capacity for understanding at high tension.... The advance too, from peasant wisdom - "slimness", mother wit, instinct, based as in other animals on the sensed beat of life - through the city-spirit to the cosmopolitan intelligence - the very word with its sharp ring betraying the disappearance of the old cosmic foundation - can be described as a steady diminution of the Destiny-feeling and an unrestrained augmentation of needs according to the operation of a Causality.

"Intelligence is the replacement of unconscious living by the exercise of thought, masterly, but bloodless and jejeune...."


Thursday, September 22, 2022

"It's an odd thing getting old. On the one hand. you think "I want to make every day count". On the other, you think "can I be arsed?".  Or simply "I'm so knackered". I have about six or seven ideas for books that itch quite strongly. But I have an equally strong counter-impulse (not the right word, that's too dynamic - it's more like a prolapse of the will, a spreading swamp of apathy) to never do another book.  I suppose  the point really is to not think about the finish line and how dauntingly far off it might seem, but more about how alluring the process of doing them is, or isn't. The reason to do it would be more about being energized and re-purposed in the now - rather some supposed achievement at the end of the process."

- Ronny Mieldsen

 this blog now closed because of problems with the feed - archive remains here but posting resumes here at Thinkige Kru 2 https://thinkigek...