Tai-Chi Workshop with Ben Lo

This past weekend I had the great fortune to attend a workshop with Ben Lo up in Fairfax.  While the experience was difficult and very challenging, it was also incredibly inspiring and provided a very high set of standards to push towards. There were so many gems of wisdom given by Ben that were so simple yet so deeply profound.  I will be studying my notes for some time to try to really take that information and to truly learn and embody it.

Beyond just the teaching, I think there was a lot to take in and absorb about Ben Lo the human being.  His humor and character were really amazing to be around and I felt there was much to learn from and emulate.

The whole workshop was really inspiring on many levels, and I left the weekend really motivated and excited for my tai-chi practice, music, and life in general.  I’m grateful for the experience and will value it for a long time to come.

Loud Music and Life above a Restaurant

When we first moved back to California and had moved to Berkeley, we had a few weeks of time to search for an apartment.  The apartment we found was above a restaurant and our initial impressions were good.  With only a few days left to find an apartment, we ended up going with the apartment we are in today.

At first it was alright in the apartment, with most of our concerns simply just adjusting back to life in America, as well as sorting out all of our stuff from storage as well as setting up the apartment.  After quite a lot of cleaning and some furniture purchases, things were mostly alright.

Over time though, the restaurant downstairs would start to play their music louder and louder, longer and longer into the night.  During the day became the worst time to be around as they played their music easily five times louder than they would during the evening when the restaurant was open.  During that day time when the restaurant was not yet open and preparing food for the evening, the music would be loud enough that you could not only feel the bass through the floor, but one could feel it in the air itself.  The first few times happened here and there, over time becoming a regular occurrence, the only variable being whether it would be very loud or unbearably so.

The incessant pattern of the bass over hours and hours of exposure (I would have to endure quite a bit as I work from home), made us both quite exhausted. Feeling at times tired, at times angry and frustrated, our misery over the situation made for an environment impossible to be either focused or inspired in.  Besides the music, the family which owns the restaurant often argues amongst themselves (very loudly).  Just being around that kind of tension tiring and nearly impossible to do any

So a couple of months ago we decided to move.  At first we had been so distressed we were set to break our lease and simply find an apartment and move immediately.  After a couple of weeks of apartment searching, and applying for apartments, an apartment we found quite ideal and one we really wanted to get worked out!  We signed the lease a few weeks ago and in just a few more weeks we’ll be moving out from here and into a slightly smaller, cozier, and much quieter apartment in a very different part of town (moving from South Berkeley to North Berkeley, up by the Gourmet Ghetto). 

So each very loud day that passes by, I look more and more forward to moving.  So many days here where no music could be worked on, no peace of mind could be had.  I have accepted in my mind for the past couple of weeks that I would not be able to work on music but would only work on programming and other tasks that don’t require so much quietness.  I am looking forward to getting back to composing, reading quietly at home, and just enjoying life and peaceful quietness.