The second run of Waves of Focus finished last week.
I’m supposed to say something along the lines of “it was wonderful, and I invite you to join in a next run”. While these are both true, I’m quite frankly, exhausted.
It was good, enjoyable, and all the rest. Students have expressed heart-warming thanks, and I’m truly grateful for the experience and what we’ve done together.
But during the course, I had a major life event that just knocked the wind out of me. Maybe to the testament of the material, I was able to hold my own, continuing through and getting it to completion.
Still, I need to step back for a moment. The course may return for a third run, become a book, or not, I don’t know.
For the time being, I’m returning to the piano. It’s my place of solace and renewal.
Maybe that’s the point of today’s newsletter.
One of the things I teach is a practice of engaging something regularly, distancing one’s self from a project or task-centered view to a more session or visit-focused perspective. Instead of getting something done all at once, we do so over time, gradually and gently, distancing ourself from deadlines, anxieties and more.
Beyond that however, I have found it useful to build some central creative world, a wellspring of growth that one can return to regularly.
In other words, find the benefit in something that you never complete.
For me, that is the piano. It has offered a path of learning, neither linear nor ever-upward, but something to visit daily, for renewal and a connection to that eternal spirit of play.
Pick something. Whatever it is. Visit it daily. Short runs, long runs, whatever… the idea is to mature a flow from somewhere within, perhaps regardless of where it leads.
Here’s a piece called “The Long Goodbye”, named after a Raymond Chandler novel I almost but never finished reading: