Theory and Practice
There's a popular theory out there that suggests a person has to practice something for 10,000 hours to become "expert" in it. I think that's probably too simplistic. It probably takes a lot more than that - and I believe you also need some talent, skill or at least passion to go with it. That said, I do like the idea that real learning - the kind that takes hold and maybe even takes you to new places - takes time. Time to explore the layers...time to let it absorb...time to "go deep". And for me, maybe time to not know exactly where the hours will lead.
- Countless hours listening to music, reading lyrics, and learning about the origins of songs, including genres of music (blues, country, early American etc) that I’ve never explored before
- A precious handful of new "H&O Friends"- Rock n Soul enthusiasts from near and far that have helped me learn about and explore the culture of the H&O fan community – and discover that the muse is shared faithfully by many
Barely Scratching the Surface
10,000 hours? Probably not. Expert? Certainly not. But it does feel like I put in enough hours to have permanently changed my lens on life. Sure, I'm a bigger Oates, Hall & Oates, and Epting fan than ever. But I've also become a "story-hunter" - looking for stories all the time now, and I'm fascinated by how tales intersect and impact the stories to come. I also found out I'm a closet researcher. I love to dig, discover, and shine light on artifacts that make the stories more meaningful, closer to us. And now, I'm looking to hopefully hone those skills for some selected useful purposes.
Who knows if there are more hours to be spent on this "course of study", but it seemed like a good time to pause, stop, measure and meditate on the stories, the music, the people, the trips, the books, the friends and the oh-so-fortunate place to be at this time and space. The best part is, it feels like I'm barely scratching the surface. I'm inspired to get more hours under my belt. Not necessarily about a particular subject or goal...but of pure discovery. I have no idea what's next. Maybe it's advanced study, maybe it's a totally new course. An integral part of the joy is not knowing! No itinerary, no destination...just more open than ever to be a student. Learn. Reflect. Research. Find and document the stories. Make it Count. Here’s to 10,000 hours and more!
"End on a Good One"
In Chris Epting's own memoir, Hello It's Me: Dispatches From a Pop Culture Junkie, he shares a beautiful story about how his dad taught him to "End on a Good One". It's a magical way to make your story count - make it memorable. So here is my bit of a good ending for this silly accounting of the whirlwind adventure I've been on for the past year and a half. This, from the heights of rock stardom, inspires me:
City Winery NYC Jan 2015