music, poetry, theater

Yes, And.

The Harry Potter / Laurel, MD / DC / Capitol Fringe / Our Mutual Friend extravaganza was fabulous. And then I came home and I did what I always do when things are going well, which is cook enough food for the whole week, all in one day.

Today, I got to observe a section of the creative writing class I will be teaching in the fall, and then had lunch with the teacher, one of my cohort (fiction, not poetry.) It was really helpful.

And then I found the practice rooms and the rehearsal rooms. So large, so beautiful. A night-black Yamaha grand, in a room bigger than some rooms I’ve lived in, with dark blue walls and a dark yellow curtain on one side.. It could have been the rehearsal room for a PBS special.

I played scales like a trash compactor collapsing – starting at the two opposite ends and meeting in the middle and then going back out. And then I played and played and played until my hands started hurting.

You know what I realized about piano, today? I have always had such a hard time personificating/anthropomorphizizizing the piano. It’s too big, and too mechanical. It’s not a he, or a she. It’s not a living creature, to me, which makes it very difficult for me to connect with it. I think at the times when I have quit piano, I have been caught up in this. I have felt like the instrument resisted connecting with me as I wanted it to.

But I realized, today – maybe it took playing a grand again to realize it, so enormous – the piano is not a human. The piano is a location – like a basketball court, or a track, or a theater. You can love it, but you just have to realize it’s not a person.

To love playing it, the person you have to love is the composer, or the singer, or your self. You can’t love the instrument, any more than you can love a football field. You can only love the music. The game. You just have to get out there and run, every day, and eventually you love yourself running.

And I wrote a poem today that I like. It is about theater. I think that everything I write is going to be about theater. This will stop me from having this same conversation about “Am I doing X or Y?” all the time. I am doing both.