Thursday, October 06, 2005



Meditation is doing very strange things to my cello practice.

I usually time my practice. It's a pathetic hangover from having to get up at 6 to scrape for an hour before breakfast as a kid, and an excuse to pat myself on the back and say:

"Well done Ruth, you've done an hour. Now you can go out to play!"

Yesterday, however, the afternoon seemed to morph in an exploration of sound and suddenly it was l'heure de l'apéro. Good thing, 'cos I needed it!

I had been on an extraordinary trip with one phrase of a Beethoven sonata: Getting lost in the silent fall, like an autumn leaf, of a dominant to it's tonic accompanied by the drum of a woodpecker; the scream of a seventh shifting up a semitone to the shocked gasp which releases the allegro accompanied by 'The Archers' leaking from J's studio; the interval of a fourth yawning open like original desire punctuated by the ping of an email arriving in my inbox; knitting a never-ending phrase from horsehair as a cat scratched the wood-pile below my window.....

Everything was vivid, everything part of the music. Isn't this what happens when you are high?

(I remember being that awful goodie-goodie - prepare your bucket now - who, when joints or stronger were passed around at parties, said:

"I don't need drugs. I get high on life!"

It was really only because I was, and am, terrified of losing control and infact the one time someone slipped something into a cake without my knowing I was consumed with thoughts of murder and revenge whilst doing a very bad impersonation of Elvis and then I was violently sick on their mother's fur coat, so perhaps it was for the best.)

Julian, meanwhile, who likes to stroke his canvasses to music found himself making the same brushstroke over and over again as his arm followed my endless repetitions, and creating a very over-painted vineyard which he then had to discard in favour of beautiful boats for his high wife to ride....

The Viognier tasted great. Roll on Day 29, I say!



Blogger MB said...

Ruth, I loved hearing this. I love the way you describe it, and I love that it is happening to and for you. As a musician, I cherish those ephemeral peak moments ("highs") music carries me away in total absorption and rapture. Wonderful! May sitting do the same for us all. Your little Buddha on the woodpile is a rich image. And Julian's painting is luscious.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Dale said...

I always *wondered* what became of that girl :-)

Marvellous photo of the cat!

Yes, meditation can alter the quality of attention radically. It's quite as unpredictable in its effects as what got passed around at those parties, though, so don't ever expect the same trip twice :-)

1:27 AM  

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