Friday, November 26, 2010

Be Free

I ended my Qi Gong session this morning using my hands to trace the phrase "Be Free."  The energy was flowing in my body and a three day weekend before me.  After breakfast I went to practice for an hour.  I recalled the phrase for today and checked in with my body before opening my case.  Allowing my neck to be free, my spine to lengthen, my leg and arms lengthening I was ready.  I knew what I wanted to work on and played through Here We Are  . Playing through a piece that I know well is becoming my practice to Sanctify the Space as described in this blog previously.

The energy was in my hands and my playing of this piece was good.  I realized that I now also had a recent positive musical experience to guide the remainder of my practice.  I worked with a few chord changes from Broken Heart.  I've recently added a couple of inversions and a few new chords and would like to present this piece to The Field on Sunday.  When I stumbled with one particular chord change, I paused and came back to giving myself the Alexander Technique directions and drawing on the positive play-through of Here We Are.  I gave myself permission to be free of judgment of myself and to just focus on the work at hand. Patiently working with just the chord changes, leaving the arpeggiations until later. When I was confident I had them in my left hand, I began adding in the right hand part.  The changes came together, so I added in the chords that begin this section.

Again I just worked with the changes and then when solid added in the right hand.  Frequently pausing and allowing myself to be free in my body, in my mind, and in my heart. No need to judge a work in progress and certainly no need to judge myself. Deciding that I was also free to continue to explore the possibilities of this piece, I experimented for a while.  Though nothing of musical interest came of this particular exploration, I know that this type of effort is the lifeblood of my music.  Without the experiments, music could not whisper to me.

My wife and I left to meet with some friends. While I was driving, an act of mindless driving occurred in front of me.  I heard myself telling her that I could "be free" to not judge the other drivers. I wish I could drive like that always, but a small beginning is valuable. We returned home and enjoyed our Thanksgiving leftovers with the addition of mashed potatoes and vegetarian mushroom gravy.

A dear friend stopped by and after conversation and some quiet moments, I offered to play Broken Wing for her. She was also a good friend of Jay Bott, our friend who recently passed. A beautiful run-through warmed all of our souls. What a gift that has been given to me - music. Where would I be, where would we be without music? I invite you to "be free" to pursue your art, your life today and always. Go ahead - BE FREE!

Photo by Jim Landry

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