Every day, I have a thousand or so thoughts, but only a handful of Thoughts, things that jump out at me and shout for a little more attention...as a capital letter does. Here is a report of a few of today's:
I have been thinking heavily on the idea of libraries for over a month now, since returning to Urbana and attempting to revive the Oddmusic Instrument Library. In my efforts to do this, I have noticed the necessity for more libraries: a tool library, a transportation library, a furniture library, a visual art library. My radical tendency is to encourage and facilitate the quick creation (deployment?) of more libraries; my conservative tendency is to try and recognize the ways in which I already have all the access to sharable resources that I need, and to hone my ability to ask the people and systems around me for help. In the meantime, I have three central questions about libraries for any library scientist listening: (1) What are the necessary minimal components to constitute a library? (2) What is a quickest way to turn a resource into a library? (3) What things cannot be turned into libraries?
In the past several weeks I have been more broke than ever in my life, and became a heavy attendee at the local community's potluck dinners. For a period of time I was too ashamed, thinking I was in the negative karma zone for bringing no dish. Then a friend offered, "Bringing music is even better than bringing food to a potluck." I'm still thinking about it. I do agree, provided there is first enough food! For years I have been brainstorming on how to connect music more solidly with potlucks—a musical instrument potluck? A dinner where we literally play with our food, making carrot flutes and pumpkin drums? Or simply a potluck where I'd invite primarily my musician friends?
This combined with an ongoing conversation with a friend about radical diets and food politics: the necessity to avoid processed sugar, processed anything actually, factory farming, any grains (grains? that's bird food!), and most dairy. My friend does not like potlucks, these days mostly because there is nothing she can eat. Our discussion also reminded me of a statement of the World Harmony Project: Natural Harmonic is to Music what Organic is to Food. Today, what ties advocates of healthy eating to advocates of alternative intonational practices (and to many other marginalized groups) is the world we are each up against. A world seemingly indifferent and under-responsive, but welcoming any gesture of surrender or apathy. To me, the challenge is one of expanding (microtonal) perceptivity, especially of proportionality: can these .001% type marginal groups of advocates form inter-discourse alliances strong enough to let an alternative culture grow between us? Where are those thresholds, those tipping points between perceptual categories, on a musical level but also beyond?
Now that I've gotten those pesky Thoughts out of the way, I'll be doing what Jesus always says and renouncing all earthly possessions...or maybe just a few. Sorting Oddmusic's books to donate to the Urbana Free Library (they handle books so much better than us, why fight it?), my own clothes to donate to Goodwill etc., and whatever weird odds and ends continue to plague my physical life.