Close Enough for Jazz

I'm always pressing into my vulnerability edge with The BTK Band. You can catch us Unplugged next Monday night, 9pm at The Lounge at Dixon Place.

For whatever reason, my video editing app is acting up so I can't tweak the video below at all. (And oh how I wish I could.) It's just the latest in an endless string of imperfections and loose playing. The voice of my inner perfectionist is so shrill these days, cringing over every single thing that I do. But there just isn't time to let her have the reins. There is simply too much to finish on the calendar, and if I obsess over any one of the dominoes too long the rest will fall. My taste and standards are always evolving out ahead of my skills, the ever uncatchable carrot. By the time I've finished every project, I already know how to do it better next time (especially the videos). I know every flaw, every off beat. No matter how good my stage stories get, I still have my own storytelling heroes that leave me in awe, that raise the bar to the moon and push me to be more brave. To play it looser, with a little more trust, a little more flow, and a lot less control.

One of my mantras that I say to myself a gazillion times a day comes our music-playing days in college. Like, ten musicians would all be on stage tuning, and at some point our friend John would stop everyone and say, "Close enough for jazz." It was our cue to let the imperfections be and play anyway.

I know this obsession with getting it right, working it until it's flawless, is just a move I use to cope with vulnerability. Like if I just get it right, no one will criticize or find fault with who I am or what I do. That everyone will love me even more than they loved me before. That I will get to be good.

The bad news is, the concern with being good is the enemy of being true. It preoccupies us with ourselves, makes us self-conscious so that our moves become calculated and measured, when what the world really needs is the truth of what comes out when we do the work like we're dancing alone in the dark.

So here's to dancing in the dark and playing it loose. To hitting "record" and shooting straight from the heart and slamming it up unedited and unpolished.

What can you call "close enough for jazz" today?

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