The goal I’ve always had with a new location is to make deep roots in the community. I’ve always enjoyed the notion that I could be in the know of what’s happening that I can get behind and be active in. In Seattle I would go to so many music shows and find whatever kind of clubs that would take me at the University of Washington. In Gainesville, I did the same, but it was even more helpful to have great friends that had a pulse on the alternative and punk scenes. But for something like Seattle, I found little satisfaction with the music scene. You can go and enjoy the music, but my personality held me back from finding anything more than that. It was simply a photo on Instagram, nothing else. And for Gainesville, one-off volunteering gigs would allow me to expand my horizons but nothing could stick. I enjoy speaking with so many people, but I am certainly not the one to follow-up with a “hey, do you want to go hang out in [FUTURE TIME X]?”
I will be in Austin for at least a year, and I know that two, not even three years would get me well integrated into the community. At least past results have pointed to these strong trepidations. And just as things were getting great, I need to leave, and then start over again.
There are also some timing issues with most cities that I go to: I see the colorful past of these cities in broken down and abandoned buildings, where such great scenes lived and died, and then I am surrounded by individuals that say that the city in question is no long “what is used to be”. Gentrification and artistic stagnation reign, despite the promises from local newspapers and magazines and Facebook communities.
I want to be wrong about this. I want to find my slice of society within Austin, Texas — this discovery of the hidden, beyond the internet, beyond event schedules. The pessimism of modern culture has caused individual impotence; it is the sharing of ideas that make something larger! And for so many years I’ve searched for partners to make this “Larger”, to collaborate with others and forget myself for moments as I set up the framework for greatness. For now, Austin must be my ticket to my grand goals; I am here, I must make the city what I want.
What are the solutions? Start from the most shallow waters: look for the groups related to my essential nature: that is, music, the written arts, the outdoors. But then I have to go one step further. I am not connected to others via the outdoors but via one’s conception of it. Perhaps a Thoreau-ian ideal or Herzog-ified awe of the Texan desert. And for music: I don’t like music I like the artists and sounds that are classified under that most generic of art genres! How can one connect by staring at a stage? No, I must create music to solidify myself into a scene. I must create to connect.