the main thing

My roommate and I have had many conversations about keeping the main thing the main thing. In other words, staying the course, being committed to the craft, to the art.

But recently, my definition of what constitutes “the main thing” is shifting a bit. I’ve come to a better understanding of what I want and what I don’t want.

Marc Maron recently did an interview with Yo-Yo Ma, in which Ma articulates the most basic reason we do music: “We do it for one another and we’re human. That’s it.”

Connection. That’s it. That’s the main thing.

“Every time that I play,” Ma continues, “it’s for somebody…I’m actually trying to communicate with…Until [the music] reaches someone else and lives in that person, I’m not doing my job.”

We write love songs because being in love is beautiful. We make tragic plays because there’s a tragedy to the frailty of this life. We make paint portraits and compose symphonies and take photographs and doodle and dance and sing. We share these things because this is the stuff that celebrates what it is to be alive.

But these things are not life. It is the sharing that stokes the life between us.