Monday, February 11, 2008

Knowledge Tree, Music, and Surprise

This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit with a few friends; it was fun to catch up with them, hang out and just talk about stuff. I have a friend who plays the electric bass in a band, and yesterday she and I found out we both loved and listened to many of the same bands when we were younger. We share a fondness for dark and noisy punk music. We bonded over this, and made a date to watch a DVD of an old favorite band of ours, The Stranglers.

I love music, and cannot imagine a life without it. Music fills my days, helps me find my muse, cheers me, lifts me up, makes me laugh, brings tears to my eyes. Music is emotional and healing. Lately I have been listening to piano music, especially in the mornings. Modern, simple, ethereal, beautiful...piano. Solo piano. One of my favorite cd's is called 'Solo Piano', by an artist named Gonzalez.

I listen to music while driving. Rarely do I listen to talk radio or news, it's gotta be music. I have lots of cd's in my car, and choose for the mood of the day. Gentle if I'm tired or overwrought, rocking if I'm perky, lounge much of the time. Wild electronica when I feel like something more challenging.

When I am painting, I will often put my iPod on shuffle. I want to be surprised. If I am anticipating the next note or song, I am bored. "Shuffle" often surprises me with really appropriate songs for my mood, and helps me remember to be surprised while painting. I love surprises in my paintings, and always learn from them. Perhaps improvisation is the word I am looking for, it's still a fun creative surprise.

The element of surprise is an often underrated thing. Understandably, nobody welcomes unpleasant surprises. Years ago, I wanted more surprises to come my way, and consciously tried to manifest them. A few days later I amended this to "fun surprises"! It's good to be specific. :))

However, surprise as an energy can be quite lovely. Of course, it requires letting go of the need to control everything. How many times have you heard somebody say they don't like surprises? They may be afraid of letting go of control, or perhaps even of receiving. The funny thing is that people are surprised all the time, both positively and the reverse. If you are unsure of what it is you want in life, you are more likely to receive surprises, some of which you may not remember asking for.

One of the hardest things for some people to do is to ask for what they want. They will say they don't know. It looks to me like they have what everyone else wants for them and from them in their space. Or they are invalidated by even imagining the thing they want in their heart of hearts. Somehow they have come to believe they cannot have what they want. "I'm too old, it's too late, everyone's already doing it..." If this sounds like you, why not surprise yourself? Try something new.

My husband planned a surprise birthday party for me many years ago. We had planned to have a quiet celebration, dinner and a show, something simple. We arrived home after our evening out, and as I walked through the still dark house, I had no clue that 30 of our friends were busy being very quiet. So I had the shock of my life when I turned on the light and they jumped out yelling "Happy Birthday!" Noel was so pleased that I was truly surprised, which was obvious by how high I jumped when they did this. It was a really fun party. In this case, I liked being surprised.

Do you like surprises? What's the best surprise anyone ever gave you, or that you planned for another?

"Knowledge Tree" 2008 15"x15" acrylic on vinyl in reverse
$200. at


Sweet Irene said...

Gee Kris, I am sitting here wracking my brain, trying to think if someone ever surprised me really good, but I don't think it has ever happened yet

I suppose the surprise I got last week, that was really important to me, was that I could feel completely safe and at peace, because I knew for the first time in my life that nothing bad was going to happen to me. That came more as a series of little shocks of surprises at the realization of it.

I have a secret dream, and that is that I will be led to a darkened theater, and be made to walk on stage, and suddenly the lights go on and there is a thunderous applause from hundreds of audience members for me simply being me. And then the orchestra will start to play and the whole audience will start to sing, "We Shall Overcome," and the next day my picture will be in the paper with the capture that says, "Brave woman receives numerous accolades."

Am I a silly woman, or what?

Manu Martin said...

good work...
Try knife painting too ..
Waiting for more work..

dianeclancy said...

Hi Kris,

Nice post!! One birthday my partner, daughter and I were going to the movies for my birthday ... when we got there, several other friends were there to - to watch the movie and then celebrate - that surprised me!! They were all thrilled since I guess I am hard to surprise.

~ Diane Clancy

amy said...

I don't like surprises usually for some reason. I like surprising other people though! Something to do with me wanting to get it in my head as to what is coming up. Love the tree here and the mood it evokes.

Kris Cahill said...

Irene, I like your secret dream. It has a soundtrack, lights, an audience, and a great set. What is your costume?

Manu, I also use a knife in my painting. I do love painting with objects other than brushes. Thank you for your visit.

Diane, that sounds like a fun birthday. For me the fun is that other people have created a lovely experience for me without my knowledge!

Amy, I like surprising others too. Glad you like the tree, thanks!

John (Copyright JMM 2007-2008) said...

Horrible tag sale, get the to a typo stand; I do apologize.