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Appreciation: Why it Should Be Impossible to Be Unhappy

Right now there is someone who is going crazy wishing they could have something you have. Maybe it's your full head of hair, maybe it's your sneakers, or maybe it's your knowledge of cartography.

In fact, at this very moment every single thing about you is probably being coveted by someone else. How can you possibly be upset about anything when you realize that your entire life is being wished for in little pieces by millions of people all around the world?

Appreciating things is a lot easier when you don't have them anymore. I'm going on a cruise next week. I don't even think of the meals, the destinations, the pools, or anything else that the other passengers are looking forward to.


On Saxophone& Composing

I'm always baffled by our fascination with sound. White noise, music, news, or even silence. Most people get dressed for work in the morning (or whenever you happen to work) and they instinctively turn on the TV or the radio and put on the morning news, weather, cartoon or what not. It's just on to be on. There is no focus on it - the focus is on preparing for the responsibilities ahead. But we turn it on anyway - myself included. It's become our daily need for white noise to fill that seemingly uncomfortable silence.

I always keep my box fan on inside my bedroom. The temperature gets high and low and the air sometimes doesn't circulate well, so the fan helps to regulate the room a bit. I pulled the plug by accident and suddenly the fan shuts down. I stopped my assignment to listen. I was puzzled by the lack of noise. Silence. Silence. Silence. At first I didn't realize it was the fan exactly - just that something wasn't right.

Sometimes I am irked by silence. Perhaps it is because I am a music major - I am constantly surrounded by sound and pitch and always I am listening. Music surrounds my life, and even in my brain I am uncomfortable thinking nothing. I always hum or sing a tune to keep my mind from dwelling on the silence.

== (Music Moment Below)

That's what I find so intriguing about John Cages, "4'33". He sits musicians down and they rest for 4:33. The audience is the one creating the music. Through their fidgets, coughing, adjusting their zippers, sighs, stiffled sneezes they create the piece.

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