Hope you had a good week -- it was busy, busy again here this week.
I'm enjoying seeing something different -- I'm pretty familiar with Celtic, Folk, and Rock music, but don't know jazz at all. Interesting seeing the different emphasis (chords are sophisticated and are the story in jazz, not so in the genres I'm familiar with). Because of the chord sophistication, you can actually use all of the main modes (scale patterns) when soloing. In the genres I knew, you can get by with a Pentatonic scale almost all of the time (especially with Rock).
I'm kind of geeky, so I really got into the technical parts of the class -- but enjoyed the last part most when Gary just spoke about music. He compared it to speech -- it uses grammar, it needs to stop to take breath, it tells a story. (Actually, I'm glad he did that because I was starting to get lost in the technical stuff!)
Anyway, as part of the assignments we have to record solos over various jazz backings. That's been taking a surprisingly large amount of my time lately -- between that and work, I haven't done much else.
Only two more solos to record, though -- then it's on to the next class! If you're looking for fun things to do, check out the free courses at http://www.coursera.org. There are hundreds in many different categories (not just music) and they're all free!
Okay, enough about me -- let's jump into this weekend's reading.
Well, maybe one point before the reading. Someone sent me an email commenting on what a prior reading "told" them to do. I just wanted to stress that the readings don't really "tell" you to do anything -- they simply suggest things that you might consider. After considering a particular point, you might accept it ... or reject it. It's the considering part that counts -- helps you see different perspectives and maybe understand yourself (and others) a little better.
Okay, now the reading!
We start with ... the 8 of Swords.
This card suggests those times when you feel trapped by circumstances. Maybe you're in a position or place you don't want to be -- but you feel you can't get out of it because external circumstances are keeping you there.
This card depicts a young women trapped by a cage of swords. She's bound and blindfolded; she's on a beach where the tide is coming in.
At least, that's what it looks like at first glance! This women really seems trapped by things around her ...
Until we note that the cords binding her are really pretty loose -- she can easily wriggle out of them and can then remove her blindfold. The "cage" of swords is full of gaps -- she can easily walk past them and walk away from the rising tide.
The message -- this woman is only trapped if she decides to remain trapped. If she decides to try and escape, she can take control and manage the situation in order to free herself.
And the same message applies when we feel trapped in a situation. We can acquiesce and just accept the situation -- or we can take control and do something about it. It's not the situation that's forcing us to remain trapped -- it's our own choice whether we do or not.
What happens if we do take control? Our second card offers a suggestion -- the Six of Wands.
This Six suggests a victory parade -- we've been successful in our endeavors and are now receiving the acclaim (from others ... or from ourself) for that success. Doesn't mean that we won't face more challenges later on -- just that we should take a moment to enjoy what we have achieved at this point.
When we put these together, we might feel that the "success" isn't necessarily happening when we break away from an undersirable situation. It instead comes when we take control of ourselves and try to manage things the way we want them managed. Whether we succeed or not isn't important -- it's that we're trying to succeed that counts!
Sometimes we have to fail several times before we finally break through -- but if we never try in the first place, we're guaranteed we'll never succeed at all.
And that's it for this time -- have a great weekend, and I'll talk to you again next week.