After I finished my piano concerto at the beginning of this year and it was performed in March I felt empty inside. It was one of the greatest creative events of my life and yet when it was done I just went into a kind of depression and didn’t want to write any more music.
I wish I could say that I felt that the concerto was the supreme expression of my art or some nonsense like that but it was more just like this incredible ennui like, I finished a great challenge and was pleased with it and all but really, did the challenge or the completing of the challenge really matter after all?
That’s a terrible frame of mind for a creative person to be in and it unfortunately lasted for several months, until just last week actually. I struggle a lot with finding meaning in the world. It seems to me that you can focus on the really big things, like the eventual death of the universe, or you can focus on really small things like what kind of salsa to buy for your blue corn chips.
I let myself get lost in the idea that it really doesn’t matter what kind of salsa you buy for your corn chips, or even if the chips are made of blue corn at all, considering that the entire universe will eventually implode. Nothing mundane matters in the face of this and everything is mundane. But it occurred to me last week that I’ve had this exactly backwards.
The truth is that if you find the right salsa for your corn chips then it really doesn’t matter that the universe will one day implode. A simple epiphany but it got me writing music again and I’m thankful for that. I’m writing small ensemble works but I think I know what my next big project will be too.
And I did find the right salsa for my blue corn chips and it’s so good.