Playing By Heart

> This weekend I'm playing an entire ragtime program by heart, something I've never done before - & it has been the most profound inner journey, in which I've had to encounter all my self-loathing WRT performance [around the cognitive dissonance between how well I think I play & how well I actually do play] as well as my hitherto-unresolved complex of emotions connected with musical language & the/its consequent cultural assumptions.
> And then there's the process of programming the physical memory without literacy, which has been surprisingly easy in general but also extraordinarily difficult around the 'corners' or junction moments. In the long run this has been a very joyous form of self-embrace.
> I feel that by facing my fears (the nightmare of forgetting onstage) & not losing my grip on this very intimate engagement with my inadequacies some profound resolution is taking place where I can allow myself to be within the music even tho, or perhaps because, ragtime is not the obvious choice for a spiritual encounter(!)
> And within all of this I came to realise this morning -with 2 days to go- that by not relying on the music 'as a cheat' I am in some profound way engaging with my life-purpose. And having the courage to overcome my youthful propensity to cheat on Life itself because Life itself seemed out to get me, to do me down, to barricade the avenues down which I'd planned that my life would progress.

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