Friday, January 15, 2010

Friend Rock, revisited

The fantasy that everything wonderful in this world is where I am not follows me to this day. It has been the source of so much unnecessary frustration and jerkface ingratitude, starting from when I first learned how to compare myself with others. I can also relate to a quote by Groucho Marx: "I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member." Only now do I see that the rejection of this idea is one leg of the journey towards emotional maturity. For a handful of years I have tasted and savored what Austin has to offer to a young, single, college graduate. Yet, I recall really wanting out a few years back. Forget that Dallas was a mind-numbing prison in comparison, and that I didn't have to move back there. I had my sights on Portland, the dream destination of most people in my boat. Bike lanes everywhere and full of cyclists, useful bus and railways, gorgeous green scenery, and my next best friends. Needless to say, I did not actually do anything to make my move a reality, and just complained about it. I still think Portland is one of the best cities in the US, but I'm glad that I'm still here. Good things exists here too! Like B. : ) And the flurry of new eateries that have popped up in just the last year is quite exciting. The vague five-year plan includes moving away from Texas, but that is still in the works.

Anyways, I have really moved past the original intent of the post. Inadvertently, I feel like I have a black touch sometimes. Just because I feel unmotivated, uninspired and talentless, I unthinkingly assume other people I know are that way as well. Misery loves company? Which is why is has been such a pleasure to see friends succeed, especially creatively. (Because although I have some creative pursuits, I am coming to terms with the fact that I am not talented enough to make a living off those passions). The best example of that is the band of our friend Rob, Balmorhea. (Yes, the name comes from the West Texas state park). Words cannot really describe how joyous, engaging and mature their instrumental songs are. On top of that, they've received high praise from all media review sources. I've seen them play in the dusty sidelot of an art gallery, where the scarce listeners were mostly friends, and at sold out shows at mainstream venues, where breathing and standing space were limited. I am proud of them, because they are a "real" band. I say that sheepishly, as someone who had little faith in them becoming so well known. They've been playing for years now, and only started gaining widespread recognition in the music industry in 2009. Same with another friend band, Follow that Bird!, but to a lesser degree. At the time, when I was hanging out with these guys and gals, I thought their aspirations to be successful musicians was noble, but stupidly optimistic. Fast forward 2-3 years later, and I'm being blown away. I'm just really happy for them, while wondering at the same time if I have the persistence to work towards my own dreams. But then maybe, for every success story you hear or personally know, there are dozens of hidden failures.

Mp3: "Settler" (source)

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