wise guise

"HIDDEN UNDER THE LEAVES"
Saturday, December 3rd, 2011


This is how the universe works: Danny Mitchell, a friend and talented co-writer, recently posted a performance of one of our songs on YouTube. Within a couple of days he got a call from a well-respected production team from LA (we checked them out.) Apparently they were watching Michael Buble' videos when it was recommended to them to check out videos of a similar style. For whatever reason, they clicked on Danny's. Long story short: they thought the song was a hit and the artist was a star, would he accept a free airline ticket and hotel stay to discuss the matter further. I haven't heard back from Danny yet, but I suspect the experience will prove beneficial to his (and possibly my) career.


The Japanese have a word for it: Hagakure - "Hidden under the leaves." Among the many definitions, several pertaining to the Samurai warrior code, is "to practice a life of goodness un-pretensiously." D. T. Suzuki in Zen and Japanese Culture writes:


"Hagakure can be defined as an inexpressible quiet joy hidden from view; the priceless contents must be there as if they were never there, they must be rather accidentally discovered. In the beginning there is no suspicion of anything extraordinary, yet something attracts- a closer look, and, behold! a mine of solid gold glitters from the unexpected. But the gold remains the same discovered or not. It retains its reality- its sincerity to itself."


It's the girl at the party who's sitting and talking quietly with a friend, confidently unaffected by anyone or anything that's going on. You glance towards her, look away, look again, this time noticing, wow.. everything about her is remarkable.. Who is she? I wonder if she knows how beautiful she is? Unlike the gal in the (too short) mini-skirt (bless her heart) who's trying so hard to be noticed, the discovery of such grace and refinement where you wouldn't expect it, is powerful stuff indeed.

It seems more and more people, products, and services are screaming to be noticed, and most of what I respond to is pretty mediocre stuff in the end. Even high quality that's presented in high DB is off-putting. Discovering something wonderful that would be wonderful whether you discovered it or not has magic about it; it's humble gtr./vox demos of killer songs, Grandma's '74 Chevy Nova Custom that's mostly been to church and back, the school-teacher who is quietly changing the lives of untold numbers of students, it's the actress Helen Hunt, the screenwriting of David Mamet.

The lesson here? Work to accomplish great things. It all begins with dedication to a chosen craft, whose mastery of, demands sacrifices most people are unwilling to make. Strive to be extraordinary first. Not shunning wealth or fame, resist the urge to amplify your own achievements. It's better to be heard about than heard from. Work hard, keep your head down, don't isolate yourself or your creations from the world. God knows we need them. The tools of discovery are here like never before. Be humble. Be patient. In due time, they will call you.

-To hear Danny perform our song, along with several others of his own, click on his link above.




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