Friday, November 19
Priscilla and I ran around the house today cleaning and polishing for the party tomorrow; she cleaned the fridge, the stove, counters, swept floors; I painted the caulk surrounding the outdoor lantern to match the house; got on a ladder and Windexed windows. She dropped me in town on her way home. On the Commons, a placard outside our Subway restaurant: Sub du Jour / $4 foot long Meatball Marinara. I laughed, and thought: only in Ithaca.
It is beginning to feel like winter; this morning a light snow.
Until now and June when Diana will return to recommence work on We Meet In Dreams
: concerts and writing music, perhaps painting. My injuries seem better and I have already begun to practice very slow and careful technique on the piano: scales, thirds, arpeggios and other exercises, all at a snail’s pace. Took out Liszt’s Transcendental Etudes
and am selecting passages and turning them into new technical exercises, transposing them into all keys and different articulations. I am sure Liszt would approve; one of the Etudes
has patterns I have never run across - which makes it more interesting and more difficult. Am considering recording the Piano Quintet
and some of the Songs.
Meanwhile, I must finish raking all the leaves, and next Monday afternoon some of the meditators are coming to help me Windex the downstairs windows.
The book is done and life goes on.
Saturday, November 20
The party went very well; went to dinner afterwards. Played some Rachmaninov and Chopin at the party; will return to slow technical exercises tomorrow. Really, it is astounding that I can play anything after so much time off. In the last twenty years I have been too injured or ill for more than eleven years of them to even play a note. It seems as though my entire adult life has been spent starting over at the piano ... Perhaps because of this my love for music and the piano continues to deepen, almost an unfathomable ache that can never be fully extinguished. Now I am thinking of that one day so long ago when inwardly I was standing in the spiritual Heart, in waking state, with music all around me ... I was
the music, or rather the music was Everything that is
; in any case it all was remarkable and mystical. It was, in a way, similar to the dream I had many years earlier: my singer Louise McConnell and I were in a beautiful realm, near water - and we were walking through music I was to write; the music was all around us, it was the entire scene, the entire world we were in ...
And so it is, to be a true musician ...
After we returned from dinner tonight I took a brief walk; the air cool, bracing, after so many hours sitting indoors. A full moon, a small pale disk through the haze and the clouds. Roses are still blooming in the gardens; the lights of the houses on the hill a geode in the darkness. Many thoughts that I now cannot remember, beautiful and profound, enlightening thoughts ... Now I only remember the air and the round pale moon hovering above - not a sharp moon cut against the night sky, no, tonight the moon a gentle smile from above, a fleeting and nodding hello.
And memories of a beautiful afternoon and evening with friends, a day with kind hearts and minds ...
Sunday, November 21