Swimming with the current
If yesterday’s post about riding round and round on a carousel pointed out a potential lack of forward progress, then today’s post about resistance might come in handy.
We want to move forward in our lives but sometimes there are strong currents of opposition to battle against. For example, we might really want to have a system in our homes that rivals the Infinity IRSV in Music Room Two. A great daydream until the reality check of acquiring and installing 1.2 tons of speaker crashes through. That’s a lot of strong upstream currents to battle through.
In Buddhist philosophy, we might be advised to just let go of the dream and let nature take its course. In Paul philosophy, we let go of the specific while getting as close to the end goal as possible.
This is the classic middle ground of making a small course change to get out of the heavy upstream currents to find an easier path. If we can’t have an IRS in our living room, what could we have that gets us close? In my case, years ago, that meant the smaller copy of an IRS system, the Infinity RS1B. No, it wasn’t the big daddy I wanted, but it gave me more than a taste of what I had dreamed of. That stereo system took me to places I had not dared imagine I could go.
Dream big, but when reality sets in, don’t head for the boring safety of the shore. Instead, just scale back that vision to where it fits into your life.
Middle ground is often a happy place.
Adjusting your reference
I suppose we’re all different but, for me, when I walk into a room where music is playing on an unfamiliar stereo system I can instantly tell whether or not it fits my model of right and wrong—instruments and voices sound like themselves.
Then there are the times that everything sounds wrong. I wind up scratching my head as to why this makes sense to anyone. But then, if I stay in the room long enough, exposed to the music, everything begins to make sense again—instruments and voices sound like themselves.
I remember my first experience with horn speakers. Everything sounded as if it were funneled through cupped hands, kind of a hooty sound. It took nearly half an hour before my brain adjusted to the acoustic lens through which music had been squeezed through.
I liken this adjustment of the reference to that of smell. Walk into a smelly room with odors unfamiliar to you and, over enough time, you don’t notice the stench any longer.
When our senses are assaulted with the new or objectionable we recoil until we’ve had time to adjust.
When it comes to music and its reproduction, I find myself shirking from systems requiring an adjustment period. For me, it’s important to stay in touch with the sound of live unamplified music so that when I hear it reproduced, there’s no adjustment necessary.
If you know the sound of live, unamplified music, that’s all the reference you need.