Picked up The Art of Practicing by Madeline Bruser and opened to a chapter by this name. I knew I needed help this evening, so far the day had been tough & discouraging. As I approached my practice time I sat for a few minutes, connected with my body, watched my mind, & breathed softly. Happy to know that I had music to turn to.
I went through my ritual of opening my case. By the time I was embracing my guitar I was smiling, yet I knew that tonight needed to be simple. No great demands, perhaps play through some pieces and allow these melodies to sooth me, open me, even inspire me. After a few minutes of warm up improvisation, I began with Gathered Hearts, my focus less than I desired it to be. I began again, abadoning the tempo, listening to the notes, feeling them vibrate against my chest. I moved onto Livin' the Dream, addressed an issue in one section and realized I needed to file my left hand nails - again. Having strong nails that grow fast is a blessing, but as with all of life maintenance is required.
Back to Livin' the Dream, playing it gently. Acknowledging my departed friend Mark who it was written for, allowing the notes to wash over me. I then played the first piece that ever came through me, the title of which is the name of this blog. But that is a story for another time. While I was not prepared to move onto something new, I found myself playing some arpeggios I have recently found. One chord in a pattern of 5 + 6, then another chord played in two different patterns of 7. This rhythmic structure is different than my original conception, but I am exploring the possible. Tonight this felt right, maybe even more musical. Learning more and more to let go of the initial idea that has led me to an interesting place and to just dwell & develop the new space.
I worked with this for 15 minutes and wondered 'is this musical or am I just enjoying the challenge of playing this.' I noticed this years ago and this still surfaces. Nothing wrong whith extending my ability if that is all that comes from the pursuit. I added the next set of chords, played with these transitions for another 15 minutes. Then time for a break which I have spent typing.