Back to Work

I woke up this morning with the existential dread over my future that gets the better of me from time to time, long before I thought of reading the news. When it finally occurred to me to do that, my immediate response was: back to work.

Back to the hard work of being human.

Back to working on my art, so that others may feel what I’m about. And just maybe, what they themselves are about.

Back to working on my vision, however small my influence may be.

Back to caring for my health, so that I may be of better service in caring for others.

Back to raising my daughter, who raised herself into a proper sitting position for the first time early this morning. Let me be like her: just doing the work at hand, one step at a time. Raising myself.

Back to showing my grown-up and children students that music gets us in touch with ourselves, that it encourages abstract thinking, that it fosters the imagination.

That using, producing, hacking, modifying and criticizing media sharpens our awareness of the made-ness of our technological environments.

Composing is listening. Learning to ask better questions, then asking again. Going deeper. Learning to think like an artist means learning to perceive, and reflect on our perceptions, and then to act.

These are crucial tools and facilities for a life of agency, responsibility and dignity. May we be creators, not just be shaped by others. May we be programmers in the true sense, and seize what agency we have.

All of the above will move us toward a path to our inner life, and the inner lives of other humans and non-humans.

Attention is love. Who and what do you give it to, moment to moment?

Back to receiving instead of broadcasting. Artists need antennae first, loudspeakers second.

Back to poking the filter bubbles so they may burst, both mine and those of others. When have we spoken in person for the last time, not just through a social media broadcast?

Back to doing my best to ask how you are, and then really listen, and maybe ask again. Like I try so hard to do. Like I encounter so rarely.

It will be good to see you. I want you in my life. Talk to you soon.

Now back to the Work. What else is there that we can do?


This is where I usually mention my newsletter, but today I just want to say thanks for reading and for being there and doing your work.

4 thoughts on “Back to Work”

  1. Good morning, Tobias! How are you, really? I care!
    I, too, want you in my life and would love to talk to you soon. Until I can in person, as I so wish it could be a week from today, I send you this electronic affirmation of support for you, your work, your words, your family.
    Our pixels may not meet very often due to the haste of life and sheer unavoidable nonsense that wastes our time, but please know my thoughts are with you.
    <3

  2. dear tobias,
    thank you for sharing these precious thoughts. what you write really makes sense and I agree with it. and I like the way you manage to express with the right words all the subtle energies that make us a human being and an artist. hope to meet you soon!
    pascale

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