It comforts me that the more things change, the more they stay the same. It’s cold in the winter and I sneeze in the spring. Everybody is either falling in love, trying to get out, or avoiding it. Some politician has a crazy idea that just might work and a lot act crazy. You read stuff from the Internets. People rage with the fire of youth, and some people have left that dance behind. Every day, some kid hears Revolver or Purple Haze* for the first time. Somebody discovers Giant Steps. And it’s all new to them.
All the new stuff I’ve found over the years, it’s all become familiar. So I adventure on for the next discovery, because that seems like a sensible way to live a rich life. It’s important mulch for creativity. The pulping of experience that becomes expression. And the more new things become familiar, the more I feel the eternal sameness of the collective human experience and especially my own. I do that to everything, make it familiar – from food to people. And music, I definitely do it to her. Monotony and its blunt dullness apathetically and methodically lumbering forward in an arrhythmic shuffle; feet flat on the ground. As if it’s happening at me.
Every day I seek to discover new music and new aesthetics in my physical environment. I bounce from loft to gallery to club. I keep it interesting, but everywhere I go I still do the same things. My plate has the same projects on it, and my email still comes to me. The Mikey dance. No matter how exotic the locale, a shower is still bathing. This is still Mic Mell dot Com, no matter where I am. And while adventure is perfect for pulping, it doesn’t make anyone in my life less argumentative. People sure do get familiar.
I let people and things get familiar, of course. My personal philosophy is that any time something has become familiar, I am taking it for granted. Totally made up, but the colors are brighter, and the food tastes better. We live in a world where there is more to discover than you or I ever will, and rediscovering the familiar is a much greater challenge than finding today’s workspace. As I search for the secret to living an interesting life, headphones around my neck and lappy in tow, I continue to discover that the more things change, the more they stay the same. And then I pretend to wonder where the spark went.
All of that familiar stuff in my life, today is a day that someone is discovering those things (and people) for the first time, with at least the same zap and enchantment that I had. Even my first parking ticket had some sense of “I’ve arrived” that came with it. If it’s new to me, I’ll probably appreciate it more. It doesn’t matter if I find a piece of culture from 2016 or 1963, as long as it moves me. The fog that is today. The smells of my city delicious. Short Sentences. The little things that fade into the background as they become familiar.
The Amen Break.
* At the time of this writing, if you were 20 in the crowd in this video you’re 65 now.