I have always loved the piano. My mother tells me I learned how to walk by crawling over to it and hoisting myself up on the legs of my grandmother’s old upright. I can still recall the way the exposed, broken glue would blister my fingertips when I’d practice – a hazard of the trade from the keys missing so many yellowed, ivory caps. But I loved it! And year after year I learned how my senses, imagination, serendipity, and discipline each unfolded into and through sound. I like to think the piano plays me as much as I play it. I feel at home there, where music is one of my greatest teachers.
I view the practice of classical improvisation as a spiritual experience because it blends the practical and the mystical, where I become both actor and witness in the play. I'm humbled by it because despite sometimes playing off key, melody, or beat I learn to feel into the moment and discover that the less attached I am to the outcome, the more resilient my playing can be. I learn what it means to let go; to fail and keep going; to trust; to work hard; and overall, to be present for the gift of the moment. I am so grateful for the beautiful imperfection.
I hope you’ll take time to lie down and listen - to find a soft spot in your heart to hear what you need, grab a blanket, light a candle, and deep breathe.
- Mary Anne