Everything is Rehearsal

photoIf we are willing to listen, learn, and practice, everything that happens can be rehearsal for a better performance the next time. Musicians know this. We should all recognize it.

Being perfect isn’t the goal. Even being exactly the same each time isn’t it. Mechanically identical reproduction of an event or a feeling or an occasion is for machines; life is messier and more complicated and more artful than that and means we have to be ready to use all that we’ve learned in all of our rehearsals, combined in whatever way gets us the best result in the present moment. It means, too, that what is the best solution for that moment may not be reproducible or even desirable next time. A CD is a lovely evocation of memory but the live performance takes hold of us down to the soul in a very different way.

I want to become better at whatever I am. Some of the betterment may come fairly easily as I recognize more clearly what I am, as I grow older and have more experiences and find my way through more of my life’s journey, picking up clews as I go. More of it will happen, if at all, because I work hard to improve myself in one way and another.

There’s no guarantee that any given moment or event will find me at my best, or even that I will become the best version of myself that I am capable of being no matter how long I live. But I’ll certainly have a better shot at any of that if I commit to practicing.photo

Regaining My Memory

photoAntique Finishes

The lovely grain of quartersawn oak

With age’s silk patina glows

And hints of many-storied lives

And past events nobody knows;

The ghosts and gossips of days gone

Are whispered in the cupboards’ glassed

Door fronts; the table’s curving legs

Bespeak its long, mysterious past;

In the looking-glass, the passage

Of the hours and years is blurred

By antiquity’s sweet singing

All the stories ever heard,

By the voices of the missing,

Of the dead departed wealth

That once filled these halls with magic,

Now reached only late, by stealth.

If antiquity should call me,

Siren-like, to take a look,

Once more in my soul I’ll draw it

From the pages of a book . . .photo