Friday, April 11, 2008

Pet Sounds

Just as I wrote yesterday's entry, it warmed up considerably. I almost didn’t even need my jacket. Woo hoo!

I’m finally getting back to my normal schedule after California. It always takes me a few days to settle into my routine. Today’s goal is to get back to the gym - I’ve been such a sloth lately - and to sit a while.

Tomorrow is another monthly retreat at the Zendo. I think I will go, at least for part of the day. I need to apply myself and get back to practicing. I’d also like to talk to my teacher a bit about my recent malaise, and finding the right balance in my practice.

Do you ever think we just have too many choices in life? Our ancestors had only one religion, for the most part - the one they were born into. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to have other options, but it does lead to a sort of restlessness, and what can become an endless quest for the perfect path. And no path is perfect, you know?

I’ve been grooving lately to the Beach Boys’ album “Pet Sounds,” from 1966. “Pet Sounds,” which routinely lands on lists of the all-time best albums, was both influenced by and had an influence on the Beatles. In fact, I've read that “Pet Sounds” wouldn’t have happened without the Beatles’ “Rubber Soul,” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” wouldn’t have happened without “Pet Sounds.” In any case, it is indeed a stellar album - not peppy lightweight Beach Boys tunes like their earlier songs, but a bit doleful, with richly layered instrumentation. I’m loving it.

(Photo: Long Island City, Queens, March 2008)


Anonymous said...

I believe a part of the life of the spirit is restlessness. Crises of faith are important part of any path.

My guess is that our ancestors struggled with their own faiths just as much as we do. My ancestors, for instance, have always argued with God. I'm sure plenty of folks were dissatisfied with their paths and found their own interpretations.

Strength and love to you as you struggle.

Oh. And .

You are NOT a sloth!

Anonymous said...

Slightly off subject, but it seems to me that our human instinct is to resist conformity. Organization, religious or otherwise seeks to control us and we resist.

Anonymous said...

my take on choices and quests: a force creates its own resistance. It's a game the mind plays with itself. Maybe Great Mind thinks it's funny. little mind usually finds it a pain in the ass.
And now, off to discover Pet Sounds.

Anonymous said...

Rubber Soul and Pet Sounds are both perfect albums-and your description of Pet Sounds is wonderful.

Anonymous said...

there's a serious warm spell today going on here too! it's great seeing people out in tee shirts and shorts puttering in their yards!

if I didn't just get back from a wonderful 'spring break' I would have very bad case of 'spring fever'- fortunately I think I can hold it at bay and not let it sweep me away.

sloth...what!! aren't you awfully hard on yourself? wasn't I just reading about you scampering over rocks, etc!

regarding your question: methinks there is a certain tyranny with too many choices.... I'm in favor or choice, but all things in moderation! sometimes there is an abundance of choice which often overwhelms, paralyzes, or wigs folks out. k.i.s.s.

listening to the beach boys is a sign that you've got a case!

Anonymous said...

there's a definition in Douglas Coupland's "Generation X" that encapsulates how i usually deal with too many choices -- Option Paralysis: The tendency, when given unlimited choice, to make none. at least you're exploring your restlessness!

Anonymous said...

Dennis escapes from choices by napping eating or fighting

Anonymous said...

i sometimes get struck by paralysed panic in the supermarket, way too much choice.