Friday, September 20, 2013

Brahms 4 (Tsukimi)

First concert at HPAC this afternoon.  Brahms 4th Symphony.  I remember discovering this piece when I was in high school.  I think in some ways it was the first piece of music I fell in love with–falling asleep to the warm, compassionate opening theme, a yearning and suffering that I understood, the comfort of hearing that another had felt the same thing.  Listening to it late at night took away some sort of loneliness, some existential longing incomprehensible and far from reason for a high school senior.

And this afternoon, we played it.  And I was in a different place.  I'd played it once before, and never when playing it have I had such a feeling of relief as I'd needed in high school.  It'd been my dream to play it.  What happened, what was different?

Now I find myself wishing for something in my execution that isn't there.  How to create what I once heard?  How to ensure that I remember and practice the importance of this throughout life?

I went to the practice room.  What more can one do?  "Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired."  It's a very pragmatic approach, but inspiration doesn't happen if we don't invite it.  I found a strategy, an inkling of a path to follow.  At least a course of action to appease my decade-later form of unrest.

Practice finished for the day, I got on my bike, a list of checkpoints accruing in my head to guide the way.  An evening of productivity towards a long-term if nebulous objective taking shape.

And then there was moon.  It was orange, big and low, peaking out between the buildings of Nishinomiyakitaguchi.  And I remembered that in Japan, which is where I am, there is something called Tsukimi–moon viewing–which is happening now.  Like the flower viewing in spring, it is a simple invitation to enjoy nature, the autumn moon.  What does this do for a person, to have a call for this sort of reflection, this sort of pause to see the world as it is happening?  That we come closer to appreciating the temporal beauty of such things.  Someday, it will not be so.

As I biked home on the night river path, the moon reflected in the water.  A bench ahead was clear–I should stop and sit, it's Tsukimi and I'm in Japan–but my agenda for a happy life was with me, must be on my way.

And then my bike stopped, and I sat on the bench and viewed the moon.

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