Rob was up before me this morning and greeted me early with this pretty gift, passed on by our friend Leland. "This one's still chicken-warm," Rob gushed, smiling. He put the freshest of the eggs into my hand, and it warmed me as much as it did him. It got me off to a thoughtful start, and I tucked the experience away as a little miracle, in case I didn't find another I could count for the day. Oh, me, of little faith!
It was an anxious day, agitated and unsettled. I hiccuped through the first two hours of being awake, without a break. Then those hiccups submerged and headed for my nervous system. Jumping blood, my stomach in a knot.
As soon as the next miracle started, I knew I was onto a big one, and wouldn't have to wait for the vantage point of a quiet midnight to reveal it to me: music. Music saved my day. I typically listen to music while I work and go about my life, but today it wielded an impressive transformative power. When I felt tightness taking hold of me and that weird nausea of anxiety rising, I sat down at the old upright and starting working out a Mozart sonatina, and even lacking in grace as my playing was, it calmed the sick waves. It felt fantastic to play, never mind the mistakes.
Work eventually called to me, so I turned up the little transistor that sits on the fridge—I turned it up loud—to broadcast classical through the entire house. Gorgeous music! Nothing I knew, but so big and fine and life-affirming.
Sometimes I'd drop what I was doing and go back to the piano and play some more. I'm out of practice by many years, but I'm sounding better than I was two days ago and two weeks ago. How is that we get nearer and nearer to music just by continuing to try? What a rush to touch the stuff, shape the notes and chords and progressions, and build ideas with sounds and silences!
The transistor reliably kept me company while I made lunch, and that's when I got to hear an old favorite: Gershwin's American in Paris. So incredible. It just wasn't possible to listen to it and feel anything but joy for those several minutes it lasted.
Anxiety was waiting for me at every turn today, but I took a lot of big swigs of musical elixir to quiet the symptoms. It was an interesting sort of war I fought, and those songs honestly felt like some legion of guardian angels doing my battles for me. I don't remember the last time I felt so strongly connected to the high power of music.
Just listen to this, would you? What a terrific performance!
At the end of this day that was my musical lifeline, I remembered I had my other little just-in-case miracle still in reserve, so I scrambled Leland's brown and blue egg harvest for supper. Even better than eating them was the perfect thin sounds their delicate shells made when I cracked them against the side of the bowl. More music. I could have cracked those eggs all night!