Why I Want to Write a Blog
My initial expectation of the university system as a program of education was that it would narrow my interests, closing down avenues of possibility, whilst providing me with evermore detailed maps of my ‘chosen path’. This also seemed reasonable given the extent to which universities have become the first part of the mass production of employable graduates, set on a course to long-drawn out and arching careers spanning all the way to retirement. What I found, however, was almost the exact opposite. Instead of whittling down my area to a fine point, I found that what I wanted to read and think about was splaying out in front of me, like so many forks in the road. I attempted to get onto a French language course without it being assessed as part of my degree, and began showing up to philosophy and anthropology lectures. What I was beginning to realise, and what I now firmly believe, is that I am a consummate generalist. I love the way disciplines that should have absolutely nothing in common bring their students to the same conclusions. My favourite example of this is a comment made by my friend, saying that hippies and quantum physicists use pretty much the same language: “the whole universe is all just a unified connection of vibrating energy…man”.
Another way of looking at this phenomenon is in terms of paths up a mountain, and this applies to religious and spiritual practises just as much as academic disciplines and areas of study. All paths, no matter where they start, how long they take to get there, at what points they converge and diverge or how steep they are, can be said to eventually reach the top of the mountain. At different points along the way, it may seem better to take one path over another, and they all provide differing views and teach different lessons about the same ascent.
Anyway, I digress. The point is, I began to take ultimate pleasure and satisfaction in seeing what supposedly disparate fields could teach me about music, myself and the world at large. What has really modified and concretised this generalising move is my graduation. I realise that although I know exactly what things I want to do in life (a story for another time, perhaps), not many of them really constitute either a conventional career or even, in some cases, a sustainable source of income. And this brings me to the reason I want to write a blog. Far from being a way of keeping people ‘up to date’ with my daily doings, I see it as an opportunity to channel and synthesise my various areas of interest, without conflict or prioritisation. In other words, an opportunity to begin specialising in being a generalist. Whether or not anybody reads this is essentially out of my hands (except for the few small-scale measures I can take to get it out to a wider audience), and – to an extent – beside the point.
Writing not only helps you know your own mind, but augments its capacity. This happens because playing around with words stirs up the ideas and concepts floating around. More so, new ones can be added into the mix, simply because the flow of language brings along unexpected material, some of which allows you to think things you feel but would otherwise have been unable to give voice.
For these reasons, then, I want to include the following material in my posts, and I will make every attempt to prevent it from becoming to diary-esque. General thoughts and writings such as these will be the standard fair, but again, I want to only talk about issues that actually matter, instead of sharing what I did with my day. I will add in a sprinkling of music reviews, primarily of albums and concerts (live and recorded), alongside the occasional film review if I am feeling up to it. Further to the music reviews, I would like to include some academic-style articles about certain topics, although I suppose this could be included in the category of general musings. The other large proportion of posts will be regarding travel, as I intend to be doing a lot of this in the near and distant future! Things for (perhaps) the longer term will be interviews, live recordings, any podcasts I manage to make, and perhaps even some attempts at poetry and drawings. As I mention in my blog summary, I want to help myself develop my creativity, so anything that comes to mind and I think is good enough I will put on here.
Image credit: Raul Casillas Romo (http://www.raulcasillas.com/)