Our Unfinished Symphonies
Dave Made A Maze is a film written by Steven Sears & Bill Watterson, directed by Bill Watterson, and produced by John Charles Meyer. Remember the blog about cranes? (Senbazuru, 4/26/15) I made some cranes (nowhere near 1,000) for this film. Follow their story on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and on their website.
Oooh! Good question. I do have a collection of started-and-stopped projects.
• Various jewelry items I'm making
• Several stories
• A plan and curriculum for a new workshop
• The moving and rearranging of a bookshelf, to create more usable space
• The redecoration of the patio
Did you know about The Curse of the Ninth? (bum-bum-BUM!!) It's a superstition that a composer's ninth symphony will be his last; not as in 'no more symphonies for you, only études.' As in, you're about to be dead. There are a number of problems with this, aside from just the fact that it's a crazy superstition, plain and simple.* Several ninth symphonies on the "cursed list" would not have been counted as the composer's ninth, due to when they were published, or they weren't considered technically symphonies because of how they were constructed. In fact, the list of composers who disprove this ridiculous "theory" includes 30 composers, vs the 10 composers on the "See? This must be true!" list.
According to Wikipedia, Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg posited that after Gustav Mahler wrote his eighth symphony, he wrote what he called a song cycle, even though it was technically a symphony. Thinking he had beaten The Curse of the Ninth (bum-bum-BUM!!), he went on to write what he called his Ninth, then died while working on his Tenth. I don't know who was more superstitious there, Mahler or Schoenberg, who wrote, "It seems that the Ninth is a limit. He who wants to go beyond it must pass away. It seems as if something might be imparted to us in the Tenth which we ought not yet to know, for which we are not ready. Those who have written a Ninth stood too close to the hereafter."
Do we think that finishing that screenplay, getting that degree, taking that class, redecorating that patio would bring us too close to the hereafter? Does accomplishing put us in some elite category that we kind of despise? Is it easier and safer to keep the same unfinished projects around us, like the walls of a safe little fort, rather than widening our circle of experience and knowledge? If we finished it, wouldn't we be in a really great position to start another one? And doesn't that sound like venturing into the scary unknown, where there are curses? So many questions!
I really like that Mahler (and several others) wrote tenth symphonies, but called them something else. The superstition was enough to make them say, "No, it's a song cycle, see? Not a symphony! It's just an unorchestrated sketch, you guys!" But it wasn't enough to make them stop.
Whatever called that music to them was still vital and urgent and valuable, so much so that they did it. They explored their own thoughts and inspiration, and spent their time on it. If we really look at that first inkling of the idea, the initial mental picture of how bright and pleasant the patio could be, the glimmer of the story and how it made you feel, maybe there is energy and support there to help us do the thing. Maybe honouring those ideas is stronger than superstitions and curses (bum-bum-BU----No, we don't need that this time).
*I'll have to report on superstitions someday. Being superstitious is like giving your keys to a drunk person to drive you home.