I have embarked on something. But can't yet put a finger on what it is or where it is taking me or how the whole thing will come together for me. While business takes me on a journey of its own daily--the usual twists and turns, the ins and outs, the daily grind--the things that I think I have mastered but more often find myself adapting to--this new journey seems a little different. When one masters something it becomes intuitive, automatic, like Gladwell references in his book, Blink. I think I have my core down pat pretty good. I suppose I have to fend off restlessness and embark on something that will keep me thinking.
Yes, there seems to be a focus on the periphery lately--the wonderlustfulness. The feeling I get when I open my head towards the bewilderment of somebody elses culture, somebody elses world, existence. This has something to do with self expression because I can always write a little better about stuff when being on a quest, with new things to learn, new people to connect with, new doors to open and ultimately, new business opportunities. That is what it always is with me, it seems. It is not like I can turn it off.
I have indeed embarked on a new connecting of the dots without really having intended to do so. And I think I will embrace the free spirited alert and go with it. Doesn't everyone want to be free spirited? The alert came to me like I picked up a book and started reading the forward and soon found myself immersed in a world of characters with lives unfolding, multiple character sketches on people I would soon meet; how they think, what they do, what they say, where they live, what they love. I think this whole thing has a little to do with stuff like my interest in the continued urban renewal of St. Louis, blues music (the history and community of blues music), also the independent restaurant/venue scene, the service workers, the musicians, the purveyance of these folks art, their lifestyles, their expression and their vibe. I have been like a sponge lately, soaking in what makes these people and places unique, taking things in like a tourist, but not wanting to be considered one at all, not at all knowing how I might put this all in perspective, not knowing where it will take me as a person, writer, musician.
OK, two things I have noticed (and will report on for the sake of this writing). First, nothing is within walking distance, not out in the Suburbs, not "where my vibe resides". Things require travel. You have to drive everywhere to get anything. You can't walk because the system was set up to funnel everyone in to a strip center where we get out of our car, wobble across the parking lot and enter the corporate establishment of your choice. You are met with the same homogenized teen with flair, eat surrounded by others that look just like you, the same habits and patterns, returning home in time for Americas Got Talent. This if you actually patronize restaurants. Maybe it is a Schnucks or Dierbergs? Either way your drove your car the 2.3 miles and sought-a-slot-in-the-lot before sheeping your way to checkout.
Second, things are cheaper in the city. I barely had to move my car and visited 3 businesses, three operations; a meeting in one, had dinner in the next then had another meeting in another. Had I had the Ruckus with me, I would have burned maybe thirty cents in gas. We had Pizza at Joana's, Poor Boys at Hardshell, delicious imperials at ITap. I think the whole night set me back 30 bucks. We parked on the street, in the neighborhoods, spoke with the locals who told us of the operators of the restaurants that they didn't like, because they were too corporate, too refined. It was rumored that when the new owners of Molly's bought the place, they through all the old art from the past in the alley, what had hung on the walls for many years. This didn't bode well and the culture, those living nearby, within walking distance. Those who vow to react accordingly by sharing this information with others, and by not patronizing the joint, a mere tennis ball throw from home.
Yep, I worry a little about this because it changes my habits. And that means change, discipline, guilt, other stuff. I like where my vibe resides, but I do need some new culture in order to bring a little of what the city has in to the county. They sure seem to know what culture is. ifyouknowhatimtalkingbout?