Once I thought I'd never grow as tall as my backyard fence. Time moved slowly and was heavy with imagination. I did not used to think the world extended beyond that fence, and the space it gave was plenty for me. I did not know then how fast the time could go, and how wide the world can be.
The other day, I'm embarrassed to admit, I found myself prone to melancholy thoughts. Of course, it would be in bad taste to indulge in those for too long, but those few minutes were very revealing. I found that not days, but, indeed, months and years had passed by me completely unnoticed. It seemed as though I had not lived 365 days in the past year, but lived the same day 365 times. Since I like to flatter myself that I still have a few useable years ahead of me, I couldn't help but wonder if there is a way to change this very discouraging state of affairs. Then I sat down and improvised. It wasn't particularly my best work, but it did succeed in taking me back to a part of my life when time was mysterious and slow.
The recording I wanted to share with you today was made with Ursula a few weeks ago. We were not having a good day of recording, and thought we would put the opera aside and give a simple folk song an old college try. She sang the tune to "Danny boy", and I improvised the accompaniment. I remember it well! Because I hadn't played it that way before.
Dear friends, what is creativity for? For me, it is not so much a tool to find new things to look at, but to look at habitual things with new eyes; to turn something mundane into something special; and to make time run a little bit slower for a few minutes. For me, it is a way to turn time into not something that is lost, but something that is gained. It has large eschatological implications.
I hope you are finding ways to stay creative at a time like this. And I hope you are well these days! Vlad S.