Monday, January 23, 2012

Prolonged Labor and Innate Resistance to Change?

My wife asked me recently what time of the day I was born. I told her I didn't know and asked her why she wanted to. She didn't answer, but I'm guessing it was for some kind of Thai astrological purpose. She told me to ask my mom when I was born, and so I did.

My mom told me the time and said she went to the hospital that day to have labor induced because I was "too lazy to emerge" on my own since she had probably made it too cozy for me "on the inside." I wasn't born until twelve hours later. This got me to thinking.

I've been late to do a lot of things that most people do much earlier in their lives, and I suppose this could be construed as laziness. But I think it's probably more attributable to fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of change. Fear of failure.

I've always been afraid--unusually afraid, I think--to step outside the comfort zone of my routines. I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that I feel inadequate, and rightfully so, for meeting the adaptive challenges of change. I've learned over the decades that I don't handle change well, because it takes me longer than most, if not forever, to figure out my new circumstances and develop a way to deal with them effectively.

But I'm thinking my fear of change might not be only a learned tendency but also an innate one, one that was programmed into my genes or into my basic biology in some other way and that began expressing itself when it was time for me to face one of the biggest changes one ever faces in life--the change of being born, and I somehow resisted.

I can't help but wonder if any research has been done or might be done that investigates what if any relationship there might be between the length of a woman's labor and the resistance of her offspring to changes throughout life.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Enthralled With Hiromi Uehara

Don't tell my wife, but I'm in love with another woman. Well, actually, I'm exaggerating a little. I'm not in love with the woman (you know I have to say that), but I am in love with her musical brilliance.

I'm talking about Hiromi Uehara, a 32-year-old Japanese pianist who is called a jazz pianist but actually blends and transcends musical categories to deliver phenomenal keyboard virtuosity and passion in solo and group performances all over the world.

I had never even heard of Hiromi until today, but now that I've watched some of her videos on YouTube and listened to one of her albums, I will certainly never forget her and will do my best to attend one or more of her concerts if she ever comes to my neck of the California woods.

Rarely has a musician bowled me over from the very beginning the way she has. In fact, I can think of only one other who has had this kind of earth-shaking immediate impact on me.

No doubt, Hiromi's looks and joyful exhuberance on stage have something to do with it, but her music is also extraordinary. That's what the great jazz pianist Chick Corea must have thought when he discovered her in Tokyo years ago and had her play with him the next evening. And that's what jazz bassist extraordinaire Stanley Clarke must have thought when she toured and recorded with him sometime back.

You can read her Wikipedia bio here, check out her website here, read a 2003 interview with her here, and sample some of her amazing musical artistry below. But be sure to watch and not just listen: