In Concert

Humanity is like a huge orchestra playing in concert, only the violins are following one conductor, the cellos are following another. The tubas and flutes are engaging in a personal feud with a long history, and the bassoons are casualties. The clarinets are pretty sure the real conductor is hiding behind the stage curtain, and are taking their cues from the wind. The violas are experimenting with compound rhythms, and the piccolo is only playing every third written note. The trumpets have taken a stand on tuning to 400Hz. The trombones have misplaced their scores and are attempting to improvise. The oboes are wearing earplugs, in a misguided attempt to hear themselves better. The saxophones and french horns are attempting a duet, while the piano is co-opting it into a round. The result is cacophony.

If only we would comprehend our own natures, understand our place within the whole, and accept the reality of others. If only we would listen to ourselves, we could make beautiful music. No conductor needed.

(Not trying to be cheesy or fanciful or trite, here. Was just lying back, awash in emotions over news and the world and the Hate Machine, feeling powerless and empty, and wishing it could be so easy.)


Writingspaces Project

I’ve decided to undertake a new project, based on the idea that our surroundings influence us deeply, especially as writers. Sometimes, after the 42nd grey day in a row, looking out my same windows at the same trees and hearing the same sounds, I feel like life has lost all meaning. Whether I need to smell different air or experience a change in barometric pressure, whether I want to feel the wind after long periods of stillness or whether I simply need to remember that the sun is still out there, shining above the clouds, the underlying issue is the same: I need a shift in perspective. I yearn to get out of myself and my ordinary circumstances in order to jump-start the excitement and possibility and creativity promised by the existence of a million other possible lives.  

A simple change of space has often reinvigorated me, but unfortunately that is not always possible, and so I have conceived the idea of creating a series of virtual destinations for writers. Today’s post will be the first of these, inspired by the daily prompt mountain. I invite you to come along with me: step out of the habit, the mundane, the expected, and immerse yourself in a different aesthetic, if only for a moment. After all, there are more lives to live than can fit in our one lifetime.

WritingSpaces: Mountain hut somewhere in Asia

You are sitting in a small, airy, hut with lots of open windows. It is late evening, and there is a gentle mountain breeze, but you are neither hot nor cold. It has been a day of small satisfactions and minor triumphs; nothing now stands in the way of your writing. You relax with a cup of tea and gaze thoughtfully at the mountains across the lake.

What you hear: no humans are within earshot, but out of the speakers next to you come the sounds of traditional folk music, as heard here

What you see: a mountain lake surrounded by steep peaks: pexels-photo-93684

What you smell: moisture and greenery and evening

What you taste: cherry blossom green tea

What you feel: your bare feet brushing over a bamboo mat laid over smooth bamboo floorboards; your hands clutched around a steaming mug


Photo courtesy Michael Sprehe and