Sunday, November 29, 2009

Don't Touch!

The thought takes you by surprise. Is it really a good thing you’re not a car designer or an architect? Given your current circumstances, it’s—to say the least—ironic. Okay, maybe it isn’t a good thing. But it’s definitely a less-embarrassing thing. Because it occurs to you that you’re Steely Dan. You’re the Eagles.

Explanation is required.

While going through some late-seventies issues of ‘Rolling Stone’, you came across stories about their recording processes. That they were obsessive-compulsive is like saying you have employment issues. You laughed while reading how they would spend months getting just the right drum sound. Or how they spent weeks recording and re-recording a vocal. Or how EQing the bass nearly broke-up the band.

And that was just for a single song. No wonder years disappeared between albums.

But now that you write blogs, you discover the same unfortunate tendencies in yourself. Once posted, you can’t leave your blogs alone. There’s something about seeing them published that blows open the doors of your creativity—such as it is. Words, thoughts and phrases that refused to come now dance upon your keyboard. But only after you click the ‘submit’ button.

Your newfound compulsion demands that you use them. You edit and edit again. It is critical that this be perfect. Only you don’t know why. Am I Don Henley yet?

Taken to its logical extreme, you imagine life as a car designer. The fender crease on a recent design is all wrong, so you spend the next eight-years hunting down every example built. Be it driveways, parking lots or drive-thru lanes, you remove the offending fenders and one by one, re-shape them to your new design.

You’re an architect. Construction permits be dammed, you’re out there in a thirty-ton crane removing windows and walls and facades and installing your corrections. Motorists and clients are not pleased, as this can’t help but impact them. It is especially troublesome on high-rises. And in winter.

Can humanity even begin to fathom how fortunate it is that life as a tattoo artist didn’t appeal to you? Never mind surgery.

You’re determined that, once posted, this blog will rest in peace. Excuse the reference, but if Michelangelo could put it in stone, so can you. There is no ‘edit’ button. Anyone know if Sarah Burge is single?

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