Friday, January 29, 2010

100 Days of Practice Round 3 Day 6: Fast-Talking Sax Players

This morning we return to the apologetically personal, with an earnest hope for potently universal. Ready?

Last night, when I woke up and found myself sleepless at 1:21 a.m., I started reading The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Every now and then, for about a week or two, my mind starts moving too fast and as it threatens to get out of control, I remember to start looking for a way to slow it down. "Yoga, Susan, for the twentieth time!" my sister says. Me? I chose to read about death.

So.

That's when I start thinking about meditation. But who's got time to meditate AND practice? Not me. I fell asleep, woke up five hours later, and decided to use morning long tones as my meditation for the day: breathing in deeply, and breathing out each note on the flute for eight counts.

Straight to the basement. Breathe in, Low D, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Breathe in, Low Eb, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Started thinking about dynamics. Ok, so start quiet, increase volume for 4, decrease and fade out at 8. Nah, 8's not enough. Let's try 12. Inhale, exhale, 1, 2... Wow, that coffee is really horrible. Am I ready to bring the sax reels to the studio? I'd better wake up MiniMe for school soon. Those clothes have been in the drier for five days. The wrinkles...

Oh wait. Right. Inhale. E. Exhale, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

F. Repeat. Work it all the way up to very high E. Yeah!

Five minutes later: Time for tunes! Remember, meditative, slow. D jig, transition to G jig, back to D. Nice. Crappy C natural, but ... hey, it's on an off beat. Wonder if Nikki will join us on this... I should write to her. No, finish practicing.

Tango time. What a cool tune... we need accordion. Think I'll go write to that guy write NOW! More coffee! Dash upstairs. Oh, look at the time. Better get some sax in.

Dry reed, not playing. Horrible sax player. Soak. Think. Coffee. Wet reed, wow it sounds great. More reels! Faster! Faster! Woohooo!!!!! I freaking love this horn.

Yeah. Practice session over. I did it.

Run up the stairs. Smile.

Wake the kid.

Start the day.

Conclusion: Meditation, even "bad" meditation... it works. Or was it the coffee?

1 comment:

kerry dexter said...

susan, yeah, it works.
are you familiar with the line Beth Nielsen Chapman wrote --"dreaming in a straight line, waking up in circles?" great recognition of the path and its wanderings, I think.