Some Great Words

It seems, lately, that I just keep coming across quotations that speak to me. I hope they can speak to you too;

“When asked about her ‘success,’ musician Zoe Keating described it as ‘the sum of many tiny moments.’ Success is not someday; success is every day. The key is to knit your success to conscious goals.”
– Lisa Canning, owner of

I have been thinking a lot lately about how to define success. Who defines it? Is it you or the people around you? I do not think there is one correct approach in thinking about this, but I have come to realize that if you do not define success at all, you never really let yourself achieve any of your goals. I have a tendency to bypass my successes in an effort to continue moving forward as quickly as possible. It seems that if you never allow yourself to feel achievement, even on a teeny-tiny scale, you may be moving forward but not doing it efficiently. I have to remind myself that it is absolutely as crucial to recognize the small successes that compose the big ones as you move along. Without this, no progress you make will ever seem good enough. With this, each day is a small miracle.

“Just as drama asks us for the suspension of our disbelief, jazz asks us for the suspension of our need to program our every moment.”
– Seth Colter Walls, Newsweek Dec 21st 2009

I have cycled this quotation around so many times, but that is because it is so poignant. I just spent four days camping in the woods and listening to several world-class musicians at Wakarusa Festival in Arkansas, and boy let me tell you how good that was for me. It was good for me in a way that it was good for everyone else there; we were forced to drop our modern ‘conveniences’ in order to really experience the sounds and sights put in front of us. A good artist should be doing this constantly. A good person should also be doing this constantly; the soul deserves it’s moments to check out and tune in. Again, a reflection of speed not always being the most efficient. Truly efficient liver/workers allow this kind of time to sweeten the tea.

“…The Stepkids prefer not to be called revivalists. “It’s not a matter of making something come alive that’s been dead. We’re just continuances. We’re just coming from that and looking forward. It’s not reviving.‘”
– Tim Walsh, percussionist of The Stepkids (described as retro-leaning, funkified-pop-leaning, acid jazz) in Under the Radar Magazine, Issue #36

All I could say when I read this was ‘yes, Yes, YES!!!’ This guy knows how to say it. Though I may be biased because it sounds like these guys blow the kind of music that really gets me going (man, I HAVE to check them out!), they speak to all people who create, perform and just plain love any kind of music that was initially developed at any time that has passed since right now. All too often, I think many people tend to bypass or overlook any kind of art that carries its roots from a form that is not in the thick of current popular culture. This is really a series of missed opportunities for these people, as there is work currently being created in swing music, comic cartoon and JAZZ DANCE that is innovative beyond words. Keep your minds open, yall!

– “Music is something you can’t hold in your hands, smell it, taste it or even see it, yet somehow just coming together and feeling these little vibrations that tickle our eardrums can somehow lift us all up out of our most difficult moments in life to unimaginable heights.”
– Michael Franti,

Well said, Michael Franti. This is why pairing music with dance is so poignant; it physicalizes this idea, so that we can actually FEEL it. Reading and thinking about this quotation gives me shivers.

That, by way of the words of others, is sort of where I am at these days. 🙂 With love and reflection,


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