A day of (re)discovery. One of the nice things about not having to follow a race training plan is you are free to run when and where the spirit moves you. This morning I took off in a different direction than originally intended, through a hillier section of the neighborhood down to a road that parallels White Rock Creek. There are horse stables clustered around a small hill opposite the creek, and as I ran past the quietly munching horses I was startled to hear the sound of a woman in distress. Then I realized it was the call of one of the albino peacocks that live with the owners of the horse stables, a sound I hadn’t heard since last summer. The other peacocks nearby answered with their own despairing voices, and the air was suddenly filled with their wailing, like a chorus in a Greek tragedy warning me of disaster. It was a little eerie in the semi-darkness, but thrilling.
Later I meditated with the window open to the sound of a gentle rain, the water plashing on the patio, gurgling through the drains, soaking into the slowly greening grass. Sitting in zazen to the sound of rain falling is deeply enriching, worlds within worlds. The rain has since stopped but the sky is still a shifting kaleidoscope of grays, whites, and blue patches, the air thick and wet with a quick coolness cutting through it every so often. It’s that tug of war between spring and winter, one growing weaker but not quite giving up, the other pulling with a little more force every day. Or as I read today in May Sarton’s luminous journal The House By The Sea, “The cosmos and marigolds go on and on.”
Another (re)discovery today was a new recording of J.S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, performed on organ by Frederic Desenclos. It was only recently released and, since Bach’s WTC has been weekly if not quite daily listening for me since high school, I was eager to hear it. Having heard versions for harpsichord, piano, clavichord, and even wind ensemble, I wasn’t expecting it to translate so well to organ, but this is a revelation. Desenclos plays tastefully and his voicings fit well into his characterization of each prelude and fugue. Through hearing the WTC afresh on this recording, I’ve also rediscovered Bach’s organ music and did my morning yoga routine to an inpromptu Bach organ recital via Beats, my music streaming service of choice. Bach’s organ music and yoga make a surprisingly terrific pairing.
So far, a wonderful day of rediscoveries and unexpected connections between old enthusiasms. Another rediscovery I’ll work on later today is a poem I’m trying to finish. I recently began writing poetry again after a lull of several years and have learned that, of all forms of writing, poetry gives me the most personal fulfillment. I don’t know if these poems are really any good, but “good” doesn’t matter. Like running, like meditation, the joy of writing poetry for me is in the doing and the new things I learn about myself every time I do it. Our tax preparer recently asked me, “What are you going to do now that you’re semi-retired? You’re not that old, you know.” I’m fortunate to have the extra time, and I’ve found there still aren’t enough hours in my day (although I’ve been jokingly reminded I have the same number of hours in my day that Beyonce has) to follow all the trails I want to go down. As I like to say, it’s my blessing and my curse to be interested in everything.