May 2, 2011
As an aspiring “chef”/housewife, I began propagating several pots of rosemary, sweet basil, and tarragon, to satisfy my quixotic kitchen endeavors. Aside from the nutritive and therapeutic benefits of herb planting, the cultivation of these living things brought about simple joys and ponderings. The burgeoning of a new tiny leaf after a night of delicate rainfall would excite me, and their figures like forest nymphs in green raiment tiptoeing towards the sun would enchant me.
It was sheer elation to witness the sweet basil leaves augment to half the size of my palm. Nevertheless this did not only signify healthy growth, it also forecasted an ineluctable stage of its life – harvest time. With a cook’s delight and a planter’s reluctance, I pruned the stems and brought them to the kitchen. When I returned to the potted plants, their sundered appearances worried me and I felt remorseful. The beautiful nymphs were humbly prostrated to the ground. “What have I done?” I whispered to myself.
When I inspected the plants the following day, I noticed that at the places where I had sheared one stem, there grew two new baby sprigs! The snippings did not terminate their growth, but increased it rather. So it is with our hearts. Prunings must needs be endured if we are to flourish.
To play Rachmaninov – alone…
To be affected with the opening chord that cause regal passions to augment within myself. To be conducted by a sonorous tempest that moves me from one phrase to another. To compromisingly dwell inside the pauses a heartbeat longer than one should. To sense triumph only to discover that I am still at the beginning of a journey.
To love. To have my sighs merged with the aching melody. To coalesce my sadness and grief in the theme. To be bathed in a well of moaning broken minor triads. To incorporate all espressivos and pent up injured feelings into a prolonged eruption. To have drops of pain on the keys left by an arpeggio
To ascend a fabled glizzando and descend with regained strength to conquer challenges ahead. To be rewarded an ethereally beautiful but brief dolce.
To punish the black and white keys for having done nothing but wait for caresses and beatings, but to be comforted that they still respond to whatever touch I have to offer.
To have all my strength absorbed into a bolus of pleasure and pain. To come out bleeding but victorious.
To revel in the bursting catharsis.
To seal the last chords with the composer’s monumental syllabic signature in my own calligraphy. To rise up from the piano and shake the hand of the conductor and the concertmaster and acknowledge the audience only to find no one. To look around and be reminded… that once again I was playing Rachmaninov…
All By Myself.