Living in Three Dimensions (is good)
Being at the Chamber Music America conference last weekend got me thinking about what a gift it is to play a musical instrument, or for that matter to play anything that occupies more than two dimensions.
In the winter months I find myself spending more and more time alone and in my cave. And spending less time wandering the streets or lying about in east river park getting sunburnt. I'm busy working at home, composing and recording, connecting with peeps, and of course, finding ways to waste time.
It all amounts to a lot of time staring at screens. I work at home mostly but will go to a cafe when I've had enough of being that squeaky little creature, in my living room without the company of another for far too long. My companion's out at her job, sticking people with needles- which make them feel better from living the same mad lifestyle as I do.
This is when having something real to do in the 3 dimensional world is a great gift. For some it may be cooking or crochet, for others playing NY co-ed soccer. For some, making paintings drawings and sculptures is their lot; and lucky they are.
Me, I've been blessed with a creation of pine and spruce, with strings and a bow of horse hair. Making time everyday, or almost everyday, to practice the cello gives me respite from the world of screens and pixels, from bleeps and blogs. Playing the cello is a natural remedy for all of the disconnect that arises from being just a mind and a mouse, everything in between severed and deleted, as if I'd pressed command X on my own torso.
The vibrations of the cello sink deeply into my body and penetrate to my deepest being, allowing me to then sink deeply into my self, my whole self this time. They carry me past the gulf of mind and form, like the boatman on the Styx, and transport me to a level of connection that is otherwise inexperienced in my day to day. And like stephen hawking said of the joy of discovery, "I won't compare it to sex..... but it lasts longer."
Playing the cello gives me a time to reconnect my body mind and soul, and to revel in that connection. Put aside the deep frustration that is also sometimes a part of trying to perfect ones art, and those moments of glory make the whole thing worthwhile. And all of this before even sharing it with any listener or audience.
And this experience of connection is available to anyone. Listening to live music is one way to step out of the computer bubble or go beyond the abilities of your hi-fi. You can take up weaving. Or, no matter how long you've lived, you can start to play an instrument. It's never too late.
How do you find connection, bridge the gap between body and mind, and reverse the effects of computer head? I'd love to know any and all experiences or thoughts.
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