Photos courtesy of Photography by Melissa
With a botched ending to what is probably my favorite song to play live, Slow Dance bid a farewell this past weekend. I’m honestly still reeling from that evening; perhaps it’s the fact that I collapsed into bed at 3 a.m. only to crawl out miserably 2.5 hours later for work; or maybe it’s the fact that I shattered my favorite guitar; but more than likely, it’s probably the fact that I’m sore from head to toe and pretty damn sad.
For the few friends and loved ones with whom I’ve debriefed over the past two days since the final show, the only response I’ve had to the question of how I’m feeling about the whole thing is, “…it’s a strange mix of emotions,” and that’s really all I’ve come up with so far. After 5 years, line-up changes, evolution of sound, tons of shows and 3 recorded products, I would have loved to have imagined that we’d have progressed a little further. We never traveled quite as far as we would have liked. Our performances were spaced sporadically. We took forever to gather money and solid decisions for various projects. We moved at a frustratingly sluggish pace and I think this may have caused subtle resentments to fester under the surface. All in all, however, there was no conflict, argument or disagreement that brought this about. No prima donna bullshit, storming out of a meeting in dissent or anything even relatively close. It was simply time. I’m relieved – I’ve been holding on to this band for a while, pushing it when my apathy and laziness weren’t creating blinders for the boundaries that should’ve been pushed. I’m angry – this band has been what the majority of my creative efforts and energies have gone into for years now; it’s spanned high-school graduations, first loves, drunken evenings, collegiate studies, shifts in worldviews, and many nick-nacks in between. I’m heartbroken – these boys are the best friends I’ve ever had. They’ve heard every bullshit story I’ve ever told, every comedian I’ve quoted, and every love-life woe. They’ve been the veins and arteries that carried this band’s creative pulse these past 5 years. Not a day went by that I wasn’t looking forward to hot, stinky band practices with those finicky fellas.
Most of us are moving on to new things: new musical projects, new writing projects, new jobs, new cities and new states. All of us feel so insanely blessed for the chance we had to make noise with each other, yell at our friends with musical instruments, meet new people and see new places. For any of you who contributed to anything we were able to experience- be it financially, by showing support at shows or with kind, encouraging and even critical words - we’re grateful for you and value everything you gave to us.
I’ll miss this.
okay I’m sorry. I hate adding comments to things, but I’ve seen this one around a couple times, and I have to say something. this is fucking bullshit. complete bullshit, and I hate that this message exists. we get mad because mental illness becomes romanticized, but with pictures and messages like this, we are actively romanticizing it.
this website has this crazed mentality that unhappiness and depression make you deep and mysterious and beautiful on a level that happy, mentally normative people could never possibly experience. the movement toward acceptance of mental illness is a good thing, and I have no doubt it is at least a factor in the creation of a lot of art, but when you go so far as to devalue happiness, you’ve gone too far. this is not helping out society become more accepting, this is contributing to the problem.
this idea that happy people are shallow and vain and unable to think deeply and create beautiful things makes mental illness into a trend, a desirable facet of one’s personality. we need to work toward destigmatizing mental illness, not making it desirable. not making it tragically beautiful. because art does come from happiness, and acting like it never does destroys our ability to perceive mental illness realistically. this website says it all the time: our society needs to stop romanticizing mental illness. but then you see stuff like this everywhere that completely deconstructs the ideology of acceptance, rather than stigma based on romanticism. if we want mental illness to stop being romanticized, we have to stop romanticizing it.and trust me, romanticizing mental illness does not help get rid of the problem. not at all. it actually makes it worse. what we need to remove this social affliction of ignorance is not to make mental illness desirable, it is to propagate realistic perception of mental illness so that we can move toward acceptance.
because art does come from happiness. because happiness is not shallow, vain, ignorant, ditsy, or in any way less beautiful than unhappiness. because happiness should be the goal, not the thing to avoid.
The world’s most viewed TED Talk. In GIFs!
I just can’t reblog this enough. If I filled up my tumblr with just this it wouldn’t be enough. Most of all I wish I could tell my immediate family about this because they perpetuate me growing out of creativity -.-
If you haven’t seen this TED Talk, I highly recommend it.
One of the things I’ve really focused on as a parent is making sure my kids know that making lots of mistakes is the best way to learn something new. If you get something on the first try it might be exciting, but you haven’t really learned anything. This is definitely something I was not taught as a child, unfortunately, which made me averse to trying anything new out of a fear of failure. It’s taken me a long time to retrain my thoughts to not take errors as huge blows to my self-confidence.
My kids deserve better. All kids deserve better. ~JJ
Ugh. this is what I’ve been talking about - evaluation systems that don’t value mistakes as a valuable part of any authentic learning experience. Our students are penalized for doing the thing that leads the most concrete learning.
"Education isn’t the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." W.B. Yeats