If only my key were a bit more practiced

This will be hard to describe. Just a feeling. A fleeting sensation. Yesterday in the garden. A sense of my individual self erasing — no that’s not quite the right word… merging maybe (that’s better but still not quite right) into a larger sense of oneness. A glimpse of being part of the whole fabric. Just thinking about it brings a tingling on the back edge of my forearms. (For those who know Chinese medicine, it feels like my Small Intestine/ Heart meridians are vibrating.)

This happened to me once before. A long time ago. Maybe close to 40 years ago. I was listening to Music for 18 Musicians by Steve Reich and this similar feeling happened to me. I was so concentrated on listening to the repetitive, mesmerizing nature of the music that I lost my sense of individual self and felt myself diffuse into a kind of oneness. A universal oneness. I felt like a piece of an expansive (expanding?) whole– all of nature, all of life, all of all. I remember feeling wonderful, nearly euphoric, for maybe almost an entire minute. When I tried to reach that feeling again, by playing that record over and over again, it always slipped away from me. I know I was trying too hard and that was why I never found my way back inside the music again in quite the same way.

But yesterday. In the garden. Picking greens for dinner. An inkling of that feeling struck me again. A small whisper of it nearly washed over me. Through my mind’s eye, I felt that immersion in a totality, my edges disappearing for a nano-second. Just a nano-second.

My eyes watered a bit. Not sure why. It felt important, dynamic, absorbing, big. Dissolving, yet integrated. Even now, just sitting on the couch, I can sense that feeling at a close distance, just behind my blindness. Almost tangible. So close. The backs of my forearms, even the base of my tongue, tingling a little. If only my key were a bit more practiced.

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8 Responses to If only my key were a bit more practiced

  1. mhorvich says:

    How must the musicians have felt being in the middle of that? Gregory would have loved it, all those pianos, very much like John Adams.

    Sometimes at Night 2011
    By: Michael A. Horvich

    I cannot define it
    I cannot explain it
    I cannot hold on to it for long
    But it speaks to me with clarity and love

    Sometimes at night
    As I am drifting off to sleep
    I feel the truth
    Lingering just out of reach.

    Perhaps it is my true self
    Watching me carefully grow
    And come to grips with life around me
    As I throw off “should” and “ought.”

    I wish it welcome when it breezes past
    I embrace it when it brushes by
    I hold it lightly as it slips through my fingers
    I so want it to stay.

    I will wait its return
    With quiet resolve
    I will listen so closely as it whispers its truth
    And I know I will succeed in living.

    I cannot define it
    I cannot explain it
    I cannot hold on to it for long
    But it speaks to me with clarity and love.

    • jyourist says:

      Yes, that truth lingering just out of reach speaks with clarity and love. Is it love, then, that helps all edges to dissolve and that sense of oneness to emerge?

  2. ellen S simon says:

    Love music by Steve Reich. I can understand how his music could propel one into that feeling. Another artist who could do that was Laura Dean, Laura Dean Dancers. They probably performed to Reich’s music, continuously spinning around and across a stage. Absolutely mesmerizing.

  3. Jerome B.Bloom says:

    I know this. In the 1960’s in Mexico, 1/2 way up a mountain on a narrow trail, as directed I turned to my left facing the mountain’s wall, stepped forward through a narrow opening and stood inside the mountain on a ledge engulfed in total darkness with my small headlamp illuminating a path downward. I descended into a hall of giant fused stalagtites and stalagmites 125 feet tall, to spend 2 days inside. At one point I climbed off by myself up a steep incline until it fused with the cave’s roof.
    Sitting down, turning off my light, very relaxed, I felt my body pulsing (later learned it was my heart beating blood moving). It was so dark I could not see my hand in front of my face. And then I Ieft my being, feeling fused to the Universe. Eventually a spelunker called for me and I came back to the cave floor.

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