Blog: Ecco la Primavera :: Here is the Spring!

Blog: Ecco la Primavera :: Here is the Spring!

March 1, 2012

Even though it’s been one of the mildest Michigan winter’s I have ever experienced, I still feel the effects of the colder, darker winter months.

It’s March and I am getting CABIN FEVER, along with my cats, who have taken to sleeping more than their normal 16 hours a day. They have become “mobile decorative objects,” moving from couch to couch and that’s me too, often moving like a zombie from task to task in a fog of winter blues. Only, I’m not cute and fuzzy. A trip to Florida is not in the cards either.

But March indeed has arrived and with it, no matter what the actual weather is, the Spring Equinox, or the Vernal Equinox, (spring equal nights), or La Primavera! Printemps!  Der Frühling! Haru! Vår! Vesna! Chuen! First Green!

Cleaning House

The first order of business to cool the fever is to begin the spring-cleaning, NOW. Cleaning house in all different ways and means. I’ve already started in the home office. Started, is the key here. I’ve just begun to clear the debris in the room… would be the closets and drawers. Really dumping the mind-boggling amounts of papers, music and harp related paraphernalia. How did it get this way? Do I really need that Sony Walkman from high school? I don’t even have any tapes to play on it anymore! But it was a graduation present and a really big deal to me … then. Definitely time to purge. When the grass begins to green and the shoots are rising, nature is cleaning house.  All the death of winter absorbs into the earth and nourishes the new. Hmmmmm … throw something out and something new arises. I like that idea.

I have two closets of music. Big closets. They contain big files of music that I never look at. I could get rid of half of it and never know anything’s missing. But it would feel monumental.  Like a great weight lifted. I really don’t have to play all those notes in my lifetime. I remind myself that the music isn’t the art. I mean, the actual pages. It’s what I bring to it, the personality, the life experiences that becomes the music and the art. If I didn’t have any music, I could still play my instrument.  I want to play the harp…I mean really play it, not just look at notes. I want myself to be the conduit through which the music comes and then the harp speaks. Time to play my own music. Write my own notes down. Find my own voice. Oh brother, all this stuff comes up just from starting to clean!

Growing as Musicians

Speaking about spring, there comes a time when we grow as musicians. Times when there are growth spurts and we take leaps forward in our abilities and know-how. This happens even as adults. One should never stop growing musically, mentally or spiritually. Just as we clean house each spring, cleaning out old musical habits and ways of looking at our practicing can be monumental. We re-think what we’re trying to say. Even in a piece we might have played for years. How can I look at this differently? I am a different person right now, is there a way to express myself in this new way? And how about working on some new music? Not just music I have to learn for this or that, but something that I’ve always wanted to play? Something that excites the new me and the new place where I am right now.

Connect with Change

When I teach both harp and yoga, I occasionally remind my students that we practice the same posture again and again, we practice the same phrase or piece again and again, but each time there are differences. To notice the subtleties in any practice is to be very connected into change. By taking notice of the new, we can begin the deeper work of making the new a part of ourselves, a part of our habits and a part of our very soul.   Clinging to old habits and old programming and forcing things to stay as they are, is not serving the creative spirit. When the old programming is released, the floodgates open and that creative musician, yogi, person breaks through. Learning a new piece, adjusting a technique, moving in a new way or trying a new posture are all ways in which we can give up the old and experience the new. Paying attention to the subtle growth, mentally, physically and spiritually, the greening of the playing field grows full, lush and nourished, no sign of the mud beneath.

OK, so that means the Sony Walkman’s gotta go and any old Bee Gee’s tapes with it. Now if I could just tackle the 55,000 family slides stored under the basement stairs …

Here is Spring and always, always love.

  1. Caroline C. Chipman says:

    What wonderful fun to find you! Wish you’d send me an email so I could catch up on your life. We’re retired now and living in Harpswell, Maine. They’d LOVE you performing at Bowdoin College, right next to us in Brunswick. Or you could just make a trip to visit US! Much love, Caroline

    • kerstin says:

      How wonderful to hear from you! Chari found me on facebook and here we are. I’ll come to Maine anytime!

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