This poem is by Rumi. I read it this morning before dawn. I’m feeling a bit melancholy this morning. I’m listening to Julian Bream play Bach on the guitar.
I often feel a bit dislocated this time of year, jerked into an odd sense of my self in the face of the Christian myths. It’s the music that keeps me going.
Today I will continue practicing my Easter postlude and also the accompaniment of the Mathias anthem we are singing at the Vigil. We have done this one before, but it’s like a different anthem on the new organ since the anthem is a dialog between solo organ and choir. It is a nice anthem but it’s taking a lot of work to prepare, especially with playing it and conducting it.
I can see that I am being drawn into guitar again. I hope this happens. I remember my teacher, Ray Ferguson, telling me that he had recently tried to take up guitar but his “old hands” couldn’t shape themselves into the needed way. This is ironic to me since I knew his hands as expert and skilled musical hands.
But since leaving guitar and now returning to it I have developed more restrictions in the physical ability of my hands. Yesterday I was slowly playing a Ligeti piano etude and realized that there were stretches in it that I will never be able to do at this stage of my capacity (mostly due to Dupuytren’s contracture, a shrinking of the aging hand). I have developed a strategy in the face of this diminishing of my abilities: I fake it and somehow try to preserve my understanding of the music.
So far, my hands have remembered banjo and guitar and the only thing I am feeling is an occasional arthritic pang of pain in my hands, usually the left one. This pang of pain has been with me for a long time so it’s not that big a deal.
Wednesday afternoons I try to spend some time resting up for the evening rehearsal. One of my habits is to look over the most recent issue of the New Yorker. I save it for that. Yesterday I was reading the cartoons and poetry in it when this article caught my eye. Sure enough, Clark is playing around with ideas that Dan Siegel, the author of the book on mind I am reading, also has. I checked and Clark is quoted in Siegel and several of his books are bibliographed. Who knew?
This is a poem by Jane Shore in the same issue. However, I read it this morning, aloud. I usually read poetry aloud when I am alone, but in the afternoon prep for Wed rehearsal I don’t do this. This morning I thought I should give the poems in the mag the same chance that reading aloud provides for a good poem. This is a fun one. Both this poem and the previous linked article have embedded audio. I will listen to Shore read her article after I finish.
This looks good.