I had a pretty weak post all written, but then I got a better idea. Chalk one up for the “inspiration/perspiration” relationship, eh?
Asides from being Van Halen’s last album with Sammy Hagar (opening with the heavy-atmospheric-epic “Seventh Seal”; a truly magnificent track), balance seems to be an unconscious goal more than a deliberate one. I first noticed this with musical tastes.
I tend to the heavier music, but I’m not very aggressive. I’ve only been inclined to speak my mind in uncomfortable situations in the last couple years, and have been more inclined to have people like me. I’m finally old enough to not give a rip what people think, and if someone’s making my job more difficult, we’ll have words. But at a young age, I glommed onto heavy music, partially to borrow their strength, but largely to balance out my gentle nature. This became really evident a few years ago when I was renting a room from an elementary school teacher. She would listen to the most bland, inoffensive AM music that could be found. If watered-down milk made a sound, it would be this. But she had such a busy head! Not only was she trying to juggle several thoughts at once, she had a gift for making things unnecessarily complex.
Another place that this quest for balance has shown itself is with my new family. Having a child in the house means we have a lot of children’s TV on in the house, not to mention all the other child-appropriate activity. My wife and I tend to make more and more ‘adult’ jokes. Granted, some of the children’s programming makes it really easy. I have to wonder if the directors and producers are giving each other knowing winks. It isn’t just dirty jokes either; we are thoroughly amused at Dora the Explorer and the perilous situations that her Map sends her into. It seems that her Map is trying to off her. “Past the volcano, through the crack addicts’ knife fight…” This is how we keep one another sane through children’s programming.