“Your father sent me with you to ensure you were a speaker of words and a doer of deeds.” Phoenix to Achilles- Homers Iliad
I had a discussion on culture with a friend and I wanted clarify my position on the significance of choice in culture. I see culture as a thing that morphs and develops as individuals make choices. These choices are often about attempting things. This idea was most cogently delineated by Montaigne by his Essay, where the term originates from. L’essai is an attempt a trying to do something. Several times I have made these attempts and found new cultures and communities. The positive choice to embrace by doing has led me into painting, cooking, literary, engineering and music communities and culture.
While I had art in my life and music in my life, the attempt to paint and play piano has lead to me being a member of a community of people who share the attempt. I feel free to talk to any painter or musician. Recently I was invited to to talk with young musicians after a performance. I have seen with twenty others a genius play. I have found a mentor for the final stage of my formal education. I have even risked the stage once or twice. Without the attempt, I would be limited in my approach to the local music community. Attempts have lead to local and personal exposure to people of undiscovered talent. I have been invited to more local concerts than I can attend and made friends with people who can really play.
I have also been exposed to countless pieces or repertoire, a space of knowledge that I would have not otherwise heard. I have had a friend play the Gershwin Preludes for me recently maybe one of the sweetest things to come my way in years. Armatures have professional tastes and all have aspirations. Culture is about selection, about finding, doing and selecting. It is very a positiva, but if you make an attempts then other things that are less culturally rich have to be set aside. Culture has its rewards and price, yet the bounds of culture are very open ended.