I learned an important lesson yesterday. It’s a lesson I’ve been taught oh so many times before, and no doubt I will have to re-learn it next week: Relax the grip and concentrate on the moment you are in. Relax. Concentrate. And enjoy.
It came to me during a piano lesson during which I crashed through my piece trying to keep up the tempo, get the right notes, get the pedal right, and — as an afterthought — make it sound like something worth listening to. My piano teacher, long suffering and possessing the patience of Job, said very gently, “You might want to take your time here.” And then he showed me what that might sound like. And of course it sounded wonderful.
Josef Hofmann says that the mind must be ahead of the fingers — the mind is the controlling officer and cannot be out talking to a friend instead of attending the business of preparing the way for fingers to follow. Otherwise, he says in his Germanic way, we are affected by “thought-laziness.”
And so it is for everything we do, don’t you think? So easy to be thought-lazy. So difficult, and such a rich reward, to be thought-strong, or at the very least, thought-stronger.