Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Perhaps I am not alone in this: I have a yearning to play beautiful music. It swells in my breast. I am a lovelorn Victorian maiden. I feel melancholy, I am filled with anticipation. Will my beloved meet me? ... This longing has been blossoming for years. It has seeded in the heart of a woman who is also unnaturally gifted in the art of resistance. I look with wonder, and some envy, as my partner flows to the piano like a bee to a flower, and sits for hours until a bodily need or wifely demand topples him from his stool. I know there is music in me. I ache with it. At times it pours into my hands. My fingers grow fat with a longing to draw honey from the keyboard. To suckle until the magic moment when that instrument can do nothing else but let-down with the sweetest of milk. I start to see now that we are in relationship, whether refusing or succumbing to the love call. It is mute when I am mute. If we are to make music we need one another: I cannot play without it; it cannot play without me. Tonight I sat down with a book. I played three inversions of two chords again and again and again. I stumbled about, brow furrowed, as the author of my jazz book called on me to start improvising on a five note pentatonic scale. A what? I have begun.

Friday, December 11, 2009

perfect imperfect

A woman I know who potted for many years passed on a gift to me in conversation. She told me about the singing cup - the object that emerges from the kiln so 'just right' that it sings. I've loved having a metaphor for this encounter with perfection. The notion that things are informed by spirit; that they shape up in cooee of an alignment, and sometimes reach that golden mean, at which point some irrepressible harmonics are pinged off. The flip side of this blog - and possibly the motivation for writing it - is that life is mostly messy. Wonky handles and bottoms that don't sit flat. At some level my life has been an uneasy ongoing non-verbalised interchange between me and stuff. I kick off my shoes with abandon, yet part of me wants the shoe family under my bed to line up and sing. I state my intention to make peace with the line in my recently laid carpet, but I still catch my breath at the threshold. I long for the day that my notes, journals, quotes, workshop jottings are ordered, but I routinely add another to the pile of indistinguishable warehouse stationery notebooks. Is there a song too in the muddle .. in the marred vessel that is PM and her world. Leonard Cohen says: "There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." Perhaps this is my call to forget the perfect offering ...