From the Editors: January 16, 2019
Finding an (un)familiar rhythm
Same old, same old. Lights and decorations have been put away; gifts have been given, received, and returned; school and work are back in session — that is, unless you are in the employ of the federal government (as that shutdown enters its second month). By and large, things have fallen back into their familiar patterns and routines, and for many of us, that is a comfort.
The Austrian philosopher and "scientific spiritualist" Rudolf Steiner maintained that it is a necessity: "One can ascend to a higher development only by bringing rhythm and repetition into one's life. Rhythm holds sway in all nature." That applies to both Walt Disney and real world ecologies, as well as your day-to-day relationship with your immediate circumstances and surroundings. Although we have a little more say in the matter than tuneful lions, meerkats, and warthogs.
Continues Steiner: "Only man is permitted to live without rhythm in order that he can become free. However, he must of his own accord bring rhythm again into the chaos." In other words, we are capable of marching to the beat of our own drummers, but we all had better first a) have a drummer and b) preferably one that can keep a beat.
If you've attended a middle school dance or cringed as the Hokey Pokey unfolded in grisly real time, you're probably well aware that we don't all have an internalized rhythm. Elvis Presley once remarked: "Rhythm is either something you either have or don't have, but when you have it, you have it all over."
The most obvious examples of "having it" are musicians, such as Presley (who got into trouble with parents of that generation for "having it" too much). Erie is fortunate to be blessed with a bevy of musical talent, both of the veteran and up-and-coming varieties, appealing to vastly different tastes. Cover band and 2018 Best of Erie "Best Band" winner The Groove have ascended to local favorite by being in sync with what feels good for both themselves and their audiences, tapping the veins of nostalgia, danceability, and fun.
Of course, rhythm informs more than just music. Timing is elemental to comedians, such as Sebastian Maniscalco, and entrepreneurial ventures, as Jelly Belly founder David Klein might attest. Rebecca Styn's interviews with both men can be found within these pages. In the case of politicians, it might behoove them to be more in genuine lockstep with the voices and concerns of their constituents, former County Councilman Jay Breneman notes.
Whatever our cause, it's important we find our pulse -- perhaps unfamiliar -- and follow it to the best of our ability. We may not know all the moves yet, but it's worth getting them down.