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Notes From A Befuddled Conductor

July 3, 2012

I don’t have much to say right now as I’m in a bit of confusion. On top of this, I’m feeling uninspired, even a bit bored. And I want my posts, when not entertaining, to at least be interesting, but tonight I fear I may bore you as well.

So maybe I’ll keep this one short.

I believe my life, or anyone’s, is like a huge orchestra, with instruments arrayed like so many possibilities, and in need of a good conductor.

Or is this not my life but really my mind I’m talking about? Sometimes it sounds in here like an orchestra tuning up – a cacophony of ideas and thoughts and meshugas. Sometimes I step up and wave the baton and nothing happens. (Like tonight maybe). Sometimes I leave the orchestra pit and it plays beautiful music all on its own.

And then there seem to be so many instruments to coordinate!

Like I want more time with my friends, yet notice myself cutting phone conversations short. And I want more time for myself.

I want to work hard and get more things done; but there’s a whole group of instruments that want to play a leisurely tune…which I rarely allow.

For even at this age, I still feel driven. And of course, when one is driven,  one is not in the driver’s seat.

So right now I’m busy looking at the map…or for it. Where do I want to go?

Lately I think about my father when he was my age. In his early 60’s he was still working, but slowing down, entering a long period of semi (followed by an almost entire) retirement. Playing tennis every day. Following the horses. Painting. Coming up with a witty or deeply felt line or two, then writing it on a stack of postcards once a week and mailing them out to all his friends. (Wait a minute! That’s what I’m doing!)  Drinking scotch, smoking cigarettes, loving his woman and enjoying his life. I envy how he did this, and wonder if, at the rate I’m going, I will ever allow myself to live like that.

Back at my conductor’s podium,  lately I’ve loved leading the section that plays old tunes; I just savor them and enjoy. But there’s also a section that aspires to play new music, something I’ve never heard before. And rarely am I just present to the notes of the moment.

I want to pare down and simplify my home and my life, yet find myself hungry for new experiences, like travel. And for the time to read all I’ve missed, and write more too. Hungry to taste all I haven’t…


                             “Yeah. My mind’s such a sweet thing.

                                       I want to do everything.

                                                What a beautiful feeling!” Crimson and Clover


Hungry for new food. But I also just want to chew on what I’ve already bitten off.

So again, if I’m sounding confused, it should be clear why. It’s because I am.

On top of all this, I want to keep this blog going; but sometimes feel like I have nothing to say.

So I’m hovering, for the moment, over my life; and I’m standing before the orchestra, unsure of the piece I wish to conduct. I like this word, “conduct”. It can mean to lead, orchestrate, direct. It can also mean “to serve as a channel or medium”; to be a conduit for. Perhaps when I know what it is I’m conducting in this way, or what for, I’ll know exactly how I’ll want it to sound.


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