Cadence, copyright and repertoire: this is not about music

1. May you find cadence

The succession of regular sounds or movements. In percussion, cadence is the ability to sustain the groove.

In the middle of so many orders, where everything seems utterly urgent, we buy into narratives that are not our own. We want everything at the same time, and fast, and due yesterday. We want to be productive, multitask, and get recognition. What we mostly find is ourselves swinging between starting, giving up, and feeling guilty about it. I know. You are not alone, my dear juggler.

My wish is that you take a step back towards your center. I hope you can always find it in the middle of this centrifugal force that is the world now.

Going back to yourself is a lifelong maintenance job, so the true imperative is to investigate our own rhythm. Ask ourselves what we want, whatever the project, impulse or purpose is.

Finding the right combination of motivation, effort and refreshment, the one that will allow you to move forward without giving up: this is your real revolution.

To understand what moves you and, above all, what keeps you moving. To become familiar with the tune that cradles you and keeps your willingness to dance.

Are you more of a samba-enredo type of person, enduring the long run of the parade? Or a soul beat full of swing in a record player? Do you work well as classical music, full of structure and detail, or perhaps you walk better in the freedom and improvisation of a jazz melody?

What is your cadence?

2. May your production be independent

May you not wait for someone else to solve your problem. May you stop consulting every other opinion when it’s time to make a decision. This does not mean being pessimistic and sinking into the notion that we live and die alone, on the contrary. To be human is to be collective, and this is wonderful.

But what would your life be like if the first person you turned to when you needed it was yourself?

What if you were the ultimate authority? Sound scary? Well, it is. Scary AF. It is also liberating to the same extent. Above all, it is a matter of survival.

May you understand that this is your show, and it’s up to you to make it happen. Being an independent production is a good thing, I swear. Would you give it a try?

3. May you own the copyrights

May the only permission you need to ask is your own. Waiting on other people to validate our art, our desires, our feelings or even what we’re bothered about is the equivalent of handing over our life’s script to someone else and saying ‘here, you write it’.

I hope you stand for all those things that ignite your soul, they always have a reason to exist. Paying attention to what lights you up inside and saying yes to your most original and genuine parts is a declaration of love.

Permission is a vote of confidence. To consider oneself trustworthy. So I hope you sign the copyrights to your existence and transform it however you wish.

The only permission you need to ask is your own.

4. May you never lack repertoire

May you do what has to be done. Then, may you do a lot of other things just because.

Because you want to. Because you think Italian is a beautiful language, because movie techniques fascinate you, and you want to learn how the hell a chroma key turns into a landscape. May you buy the book because the cover was funky, or because the author’s surname reminds you of your third-grade art teacher, and you loved that woman.

Because curiosity is a master at teaching us what we are really made of.

I hope you open spaces in your life for things that are not useful or convenient, even if it does not make sense to others. This urge to make sense of everything comes from people who have forgotten how to feel. To build repertoire is to add tools to our own User Guide. This way, we can deal better with life’s twists and turns and have fun on the way.

I hope you make time for things that lead you nowhere. They lead to other versions of yourself — this is not only enough, but also sacred.

5. May you bring your swing to the party

To dance away self-blame and deflect the perpetual feeling that you should have done more. To understand that other people’s performances are not your own, but recognize your time when it comes. To move your body and keep singing at the top of your lungs with a blushing-sweaty face and luminous eyes.

May you always count on the poetry of your swing (or in Portuguese, “gingado” — much more poetic, I believe). May you follow the rhythm, dictate the repertoire, come up with new moves and, finally, put the cards on the table in your own style.

If I invite you to join the parade, would you promise to enter the dance?

by mahanieadad

Brazilian, immigrant, writer, wanderer. No one is one thing only. Words are my way of making sense of this wonderful lunatic experience that is being alive. I am a fan of inspiring quotes, paradoxes, and miniature shampoos.

Currently living in Dublin, Ireland, and working on my memoir project, All The Times I Was Not My Hero. Hopefully, you can relate to one of the 37 tabs open in my head.


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