An Extremely Brief Hiatus
Today's local paper reports about Sonny Rollins, one of my favorite musicians, and his recent presidential honor at Kennedy Center. The important part of Rollins's story to this post is that from 1959 to 1961, he took a famous "sabbatical," a hiatus from performing and recording, and he worked on his music by himself. Privately. And he didn't play for listeners. It's told that he practiced in this period on the Williamsburg Bridge. And it's told that he was "frustrated with what he perceived as his own musical limitations."
Asked about this hiatus by the local paper some fifty years later, Rollins said:
“I took a break because I felt I wasn’t playing as well as I could. I had a lot of people praising me and I felt I wasn’t able to live up to it. I have pride in what I do. You have to have strength with your convictions. When I came back from hiatus, people said I didn’t sound any different. That did not matter to me because I did learn something whether or not they heard it. I listened to my inner voice and that was the main thing,” said Rollins.
Put another way, Rollins took some time-- for him it was about 3 years-- to recharge, reorient, resuscitate, restore his edge.
Which brings this post to me, your humble Bloguero. My present judgment, that I'm not writing as well as I can, that my writing is getting stale, formulaic, tired, seems to have been coming out lately in my projections, specifically, that not enough people are reading me, that not enough comments are made, that not enough clicks are received. Habla bla bla bla. This feels like whining. Or whinging (thank you, Xanthe) as one astute reader recently pointed out. The most recent example is here (a special thanks to Diane). The problem, of course, as usual with projection is that it's not the readers' problems. Not at all. Never is. It's not you. It's not outside of me. It's me. So I have decided to ask myself, "You talkin to me? You talking to me?" Well, yeah.
There are two parts of this. First, after a five year slog, Tulum has finally been published. I can write post after post after attempted cleaver post asking people to buy it online at Barnes and Noble, Amazon and iUniverse. I can tell you what a great gift and stocking stuffer it is. But let's face it, I don't like being stuck on that topic for long and using my keyboard as a blunt instrument of book marketing. No fun. Stale. Second, and maybe this is part of the first thing, the space that launching the book into the world might have created in my inner world, space to think about new things, space to dream up new ideas, space that is empty, space that is fresh, seems to be cluttered. With commerce. And work. And fatigue. And cobwebs. Again, no fun. Not for me, and definitely not for you.
And so, I've decided to take some time, a very little time, just from here to the end of the year, benignly to neglect this blog. To assume blog silence for a couple of weeks. To travel into the darkest, shortest day of the year in silence. To be quiet. To be still. To rest. To see, whether with some silence and soon the lengthening of the days, my edge is burnished. And my fatigue is banished. And there is more light and heat and creativity. So I can come back in 2012 restored, rested, renewed.
That makes this, as I walk away, a great time to post this blog's annual greeting:
Felices Fiestas! Queremos tomar esta tiempo para ofrecerle nuestros mejores deseos a usted y sus seres queridos. Esperamos que su hogar este lleno de gozo, cordialidad y buena voluntad durante esta temporada de fiestas. Que usted y su familia gozen de paz, felicidad y buena salud durante el nuevo ano.
Seasons Greetings! We'd like to take this time to extend our very best wishes to you and your loved ones. We hope your home will be filled with joy, warmth and goodwill during this holiday season. May you and your family enjoy peace, happiness, and good health throughout the coming year.