Part One: The Obsession with Chris Drury Leads to Thoughts on Music

*I’m super sorry guys, but you are going to have to listen to me drone on about Buffalo, hockey, and sports as it relates to music for a little while longer.

Yesterday, while scouring the internet for my favorite Chris Drury photo, I stumbled upon this very interesting, very long Sports Illustrated article. I now know pretty much everything about Chris Drury. Here is a short summary of what I’ve learned:

1. He has been a champion literally his whole life.

2. He’s incredibly intense (hot) about his work ethic (meh).

3. He manages to be totally committed to his sport while simultaneously maintaining a zen-like understanding of the unimportance of hockey and sports stardom. (The article suggests that this characteristic is the key to Chris Drury- incidentally, it is also the key to my heart.)

4. The article doesn’t come directly out and say it, but based on his above mentioned work ethic, and his apparent lack of humor about lolly-gagging and frivolity, I can now assume that Mr. Drury would find my four day long Eating-Microwave-Popcorn-While-Watching-Arrested-Development-And-
Crocheting-A-Thon decidedly unattractive, which is fine because he is….

5. ….married with two kids.

Here is the part of the article that really caught my attention:

The seconds are dwindling: 8.9 seconds … 8.6…. When Drury sees Briere jabbing at the puck behind the net, he glides, almost lackadaisically, across the Pittsburgh crease: 8.5 … 8.4 … 8.3…. Briere knows without seeing that Drury will be there. “He’s always in the right spot,” he says. “It’s amazing. You can always count on Chris when the game’s on the line.” Drury, meanwhile, is barely thinking: no hope, no fear, no worry about whether he’ll score or not.

“In some ways it’s already been decided,” Drury says. “Mentally and physically, if you’re prepared and you make your move, you make what you think is a good shot. If it doesn’t go in, it wasn’t meant to be. There’s not much sense in fearing that.”

I believe my biggest musical issue is that I play with a lot of fear. I’m scared that I’m not good enough, I’m scared that my hard work won’t pay off, I’m scared that I will sound like everybody else, I’m scared that I’ll sound like the messy spaz that I am. I don’t think I am at all unusual in this, in fact, I believe I might be a little ahead of the curve because I can acknowledge this fear and write about it openly on the internet.

I am fascinated and inspired by people, like Drury, who somehow intuitively understand that there is nothing to fear. It’s an amazing paradox. In risking failure, he actually risks nothing, and he has incredible success. I have been stuck time and time again in this trap: as I work harder, the burden of failure increases in my mind. The harder I work, the greater my investment, the bigger the failure looms. For Chris Drury, it seems that the harder he works, the lighter the emotional load becomes. The greater his investment, the less he fears failure. Which begs the question, what is Chris Drury really invested in? Winning? Championships? Reading the article, Drury seems to be pursuing a goal outside of the actual game. He is driven to work hard and his goal is just that: to do the very best that he can every minute of every day. The fact that doing his very best has made him a smoking hot sports star seems almost beside the point for Chris Drury.

Every once in awhile I tap into a little glimmer of musical peace, and these are the times when I have the most memorable and successful performances. I can honestly say that my biggest dream in life is to play and live without fear, and yet, I can’t seem to find a way to actually pursue this dream. In working hard, I always end up pursuing some other dream, a less important dream- a job, a guy, musical approval. I don’t think that fearlessness is something you can pursue. Fearlessness is something that only exists in the moment. It can’t be pursued because it doesn’t exist in the future, it only exists right this very second, and this second, and this second, and this second, and this second…….

I would be curious to hang out with Chris Drury today, the day after the season ended, to observe disappointment in such a seemingly steady person. I hope he is able to relax and enjoy his family. I hope that along with his awe inspiring commitment to playing hockey, he can also hang out and have fun. If not, Mr. Drury, you are welcome to come over to my apartment. Relaxing and having fun are activities at which I naturally excel. I’ll toss some popcorn in the microwave, and we can sit together on the couch, listening to music and crocheting our fears away.

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9 Responses to “Part One: The Obsession with Chris Drury Leads to Thoughts on Music”


  1. 1 Kate May 20, 2007 at 3:32 pm

    I love your blog.

  2. 2 Kathleen May 20, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    Damn, Kate. You have a way with words. Your blogs often manage to (1) articulate your own unique-ness, and (2) explain your day/life/moment in a way that is universal — as in, hey, thats exactly how I think some times. How do you do that? Keep doing it. I suspect it is what drives peeps to make art, and to keep on communicating with one another, through it all. Kathleen

  3. 3 Charlie May 21, 2007 at 9:27 am

    True, hockey is a great sport. But, if you want real excitement and true zen like focus…Curling is the way to go!!

  4. 4 Mom May 21, 2007 at 10:34 am

    I feel so good about myself just for having spawned such an articulate and wise daughter! Nice going.

  5. 5 Christina May 21, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    I personally L.O.V.E. your Sabres posts! My favorite hottie is Zubrus.

    I’m proud to also excel in relaxing activities.

  6. 6 Courtney May 21, 2007 at 10:24 pm

    I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, hockey is ruining my life.

  7. 7 Liz May 22, 2007 at 8:54 am

    Amazing post…..keep the hockey analogies coming! Really funny, last week I met another violist who loves hockey too. My DH thinks maybe because hockey is such a team post, it appeals to the collaborative nature of violists.

    (BTW-You may be interested in reading hella frisch’s posts about his successful Calgary audition. He writes about something similar in regards to Heldenleben and fearlessness.)

    Have a great day!

  8. 8 Liz May 22, 2007 at 8:55 am

    Ack….meant to say “sport” not “post”. Need more coffee…

  9. 9 elise May 23, 2007 at 11:18 pm

    kate, have you ever heard of nomar garciaparra??


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