Stillness (contentment)


In my garden grows memory, knowing and imagining. I imagine a garden. I really do. My keyboard is a protected garden, maybe an arboretum, and I imagine that my fingers are droplets of dew touching leaves, grass, branches, stones. There is no frenzy in my garden. The quiet morning seeps into me. I am taken over by the calm of dawn, as the dawn is taken over by daylight.  I don’t exert my will. I only listen and say no words, not even in my mind.

I know a woman named Brenda who greets the sunrise every day with the “daily bell.” She rings little bells as the sun comes up, it doesn’t matter where in the world she is. She rings bells in California, in Spain, in India.  If she is with other people, they all ring bells. She often posts the bell-ringing ceremonies on FB. She also rings bells at sunset. In 2006 she hitched a wagon to her little car and drove throughout the United States.  On the wagon was a 250-pound cast-iron school bell. She rang the bell whenever she stopped.

On a day when  rain flirted with snow, I was overwhelmed almost to tears by a memory of a morning in Spain sometime in the 1970s, somewhere on the way to the Costa del Sol, a curve in the road, a stopping place, a little bar and restaurant built of stone, the shaggy hillsides, the crisp, brilliant sun …

These whisps of imagining, knowing and remembering pile up in my soul and never leave.

There will be some rockin and rollin later in the day. Probably some unforgettable beer and hot dogs around an open fire.

I have been writing music with parallel narratives for about 30 years. I performed my third set of pieces with narratives last fall, Piano Stories III. There were 10 of them and Southside Pride is publishing one a month until they are done. There is a link to the music at This piece was recorded by Mark Klaassen and performed by myself on piano. The almond tree photo is by Mike Booth. I took the others.

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