Processing Yesterday 

Yesterday was a good day, which included a good gig and began with a good workout and gym visit. Did it go to plan? In some ways. Were there surprises? Of course, in my life, there are always surprises. Is this good or bad? Neither, it just is because I have set it up that way. A life with no surprises would be too boring for me to live.

Was the one-hour gig the focal point of the day? Absolutely. Was it planned for more than a month? Yes, it was. Were all of the surprises planned out of it? Of course not. Why would I want to do that? Many people assume a performance should be scripted, perfected, and de-risked. Then, after stripping all of the life out of it, they try to meticulously build it in parts to make it look more extemporaneous and natural.

This does not work for me at all. If there is no risk, I am not too interested. This is why the license plate of the vehicle I use for my performances is Jazz OS. My assumption is that life is one giant improvisation, which is why Jazz is my Operating System. On the other hand, too much surprise and too much risk produce chaos, and that is not a very good idea either. There is a range within which there is enough surprise and enough fulfilled expectation. I call this the predictability-to-surprise ratio, and we all have windows within which we operate to feel comfortably engaged. 

Not too much surprise nor too much prediction! Emotional engagement requires emotional relevancy, and if you can neither make sense of what is happening nor find it worth your while to pay attention, it is not going to be a good day or experience.

So, about yesterday. What made it good? Well, to start with, enough happened that some processing the day after, which is today, is worthwhile. This means there was something to learn, and therefore, not all was predicted.

The details are not what I have focused upon here, but the conceptual arc of the day and its climax in the one-hour event. Several relationships were improved, a new one was possibly formed, and several hypotheses were tested and survived. Notice I did not say they were entirely validated because that takes more time, but they were not invalidated, and that means I learned my ideas get to live another day.

Not without more checking and modification, thank goodness. But I was sufficiently engaged to engage others, and that is the point of a performance.