Practicing cello, dinner with a friend

Today I had three separate practice sessions, and thought I might add a fourth after coming back from dinner with a friend. I was still mildly entertaining that idea when I received a reminder from one of the members of my quartet that tonight is DST, and to set our clocks forward. Somehow, seeing the time move from after 10 pm to after 11 pm removed the idea of going down to my studio to practice from the realm of the possible and pushed it some small distance toward the absurd. Nonetheless, given that my body thinks it’s only 10:39, and not 11:39, I may shortly wish that I was downstairs doing something productive rather than surfing the web. Choices, choices.

I have come to the conclusion that come what may, I need to find time to practice every night, even if it’s just 15 minutes after I brush my teeth and before I hit the sack. I need that degree of regularity, regardless of the amount of practice I’ve achieved earlier in the day. So, despite tonight’s choice, starting tomorrow I’m going to implement my new plan. Before doing the dishes, before reading, before anything else, as soon as the kids are down, I’m going to practice, even if it’s just playing scales or tackling one difficult measure. Doing so will be good for me professionally, and good for me personally. Practicing is part of how I am alive, engaged, creative, curious, productive. It’s certainly better for me than Scrabble, for example. I may give myself Saturday nights off, given the time of night I come home sometimes from hanging out with friends (not scandalously late, seeing as how I have three small children, but later than most other nights). And that will feel good too. Balance is important.

I have been working hard enough on the Prokofiev that now themes from the second movement are running frequently through my head. There’s a place where the cello part dives up into treble clef with passionate abandon. I spent a fair amount of time today working on the intonation on that run. It’s a funny contrast, the careful crafting that goes into music, so that one can play with the passionate abandon often required by it.

Then tonight, I got to have dinner with another college friend, whose kids are a decade older than mine. The parenting situations occurring in her life feel as distant as the moon to me, but I know that once I’m there, the days of preschool and kindergarten will seem almost like they happened to someone else. Yet I clearly remember the day I met R’s younger kid, when we met for lunch while R was still on maternity leave. Time and memory continue to bemuse and fascinate me. Sometimes I think that we really are a series of people as we grow and learn and change, and that the connections between periods of our lives are sometimes more tenuous than we might think.

It is wonderful to talk with other parents, especially people one knows and trusts, to see different ways of doing things, to learn and appreciate, to understand and be mystified.

Life is a thing I am grateful to have.

I am in that state of trepidation and excitement prior to our upcoming quartet concert that burnishes everything with internal sparkles. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s rehearsal.

I hope everyone survives Daylight Saving’s Time intact.


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