Monday, January 17, 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Abraham-Expansion Expanding

Emanuel Ax

About a month. That's how long I've been doing the Vortex Diary. 

My visits to the Vortex are longer.
I get into the Vortex more often.
I have more fun.
I feel better mentally.
I feel better physically.
I feel better emotionally.
I have more energy.
I'm nicer.
I'm smarter.
I'm more inspired.
I'm attracting more of what I want.
People are nicer to me.
Life is easier.
Ad infinitum.

That's just a surface scan. Lying beneath every item on the list I picture a stack of large cerulean blue index cards. Stapled to each--I favor teal-colored staples in this case--is a photo. And I've noted in my own hand bits of the Vortextual characteristics of that experience. And each time I pull out a card to examine it, to appreciate its beauty, to revel and bask in the reliving, yet another card with a photo of me in the bliss of remembrance is added to the stack. For thus is the nature of expansion.

I've added to the blog a Vortex Diary mission statement: To document, share, relive and expand my experiences in the Vortex. I'm in the place right now where I have to narrow my focus as I post. If I were to list every lovely thing that happens as the result of deliberately getting into the Vortex each day, I would never finish. So here are just a couple of index cards' worth of experience.

On Thursday I happened to be home in the morning to receive an email from a good friend. She offered symphony tickets on a first-come, first-served basis and I won!! I went to the symphony website and saw that the guest artists were conductor, Emmanuel Villaume and pianist Emanuel Ax. The performance included the overture from Carl Maria Von Weber's opera, Der Freischutz (The Marksman), a modern piece called Color by Marc-Andre Debalvie and Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2. I knew little of Von Weber, really, and absolutely nothing of Debalvie, so I did a little research and started to get excited. Debalvie's approach to music is very esoteric and in this piece he is actually harmonizing overtones, which is pretty jazzy and outside for symphonic music. I listened to parts of both pieces and was pleased. They say Brahms is less accessible than “easy” composers like Mozart. I had a gauzy childhood memory of hearing Brahms from my mother's small record collection. But this concerto, I realized as I listened online, was something new. The first movement is quite dramatic and very beautiful. By enjoying the music I was, without realizing it, pre-paving a wonderful experience.

Friday, the day of the concert, was busy. A full day of teaching in a Brit Lit class in which the students were to review the first three acts of Macbeth by watching Roman Polanski's dramatization of the play. It was filmed in Northern Wales and is excellent. I truly enjoyed watching it all three times and noting where Polanski had omitted or rearranged small passages to enhance the film. I squeezed in a carwash and a swim and by the time I'd redone my hair, it was time for my partner and me to get out the door to our pre-symphony dinner, which was shared with my friend and her wonderful son. I was already in the Vortex and had been at least adjacent all day so dinner was very, very nice with the addition of pleasant and lively companions.

The concert: My partner and I read through the program together and I learned the nationalities and accomplishments of our very famous conductor and pianist. More excited. Emmanuel Villaume is a charming and eloquent Frenchman. I would have been happy just to hear him speak about the music but he was there to conduct. And oh, what a beautiful conductor. I found him to be almost balletic in gesture and body movement. Vortex! I very much enjoyed the first two pieces and was primed for the concerto.

Let's just say I had no idea how much my Vortex might expand under these conditions. This music, on this night, with this audience, in this auditorium, with these musicians, after just such a dinner, after just such a day, during just such a week, during just such a month and after just such a lifetime: all that contrast and allowing had conspired to line up all these elements into just such a moment as this one. Listen:

There are many moments in my life in which music has moved me immensely. There are a few that have moved me with such intensity that I know that my body, soul and spirit have permanently altered. For me it happened at the beginning of the second movement. Something about those opening chords hit me and I began ascending on a musical skyrocket. And then I went with the piece into the Vortex with Brahms and we melded minds in there and I was in love with him and music and the world and with life itself. During the third movement I dissolved into the music. The atoms of my body were unbound and floated above and around the Universe amongst the sound waves and vibrations made by not only the instruments but by all the expanded Vortexes of us all there together.

I've been listening to the concerto as I write and I am happy to report that my nervous system does not know the difference between now and that night. If I take the time now to relive those 50 minutes on Friday, today's Vortex is a new and rich experience. Isn't that truly a gift beyond compare? Isn't that one fact alone enough to appreciate for an entire lifetime? I am able to be in the Vortex by remembering being in the Vortex.

Another index card, please.

*(This is, of course, only Part 1 of the first movement. Listen to more if you are so moved, or go to Portland today or tomorrow to be there with Messieurs Ax and Villaume—you might see me there.)