six rooms / the room called 6 / part 1 of 3

There is a third intermediate room between rooms 2 and 3.

A piano player sits alone. Again and again she practices a long cascading arpeggio. The passage of music is from a longer work with many such cascades. The sheet rests open on the rack. Her eyes instinctively look at a photo of her as a young woman. Once upon a time, I played this well, she hears a voice saying in her ears.

Today she has decided to play for one hour. No more and no less. It has been some years since she has played. She stopped playing. She flew apart into different pieces. The part that had been drilled and trained to achieve somebody’s version of perfection became a merciless tyrant inflicting shame and self-judgment upon her other parts. Like all tyrants, it needed some means of goading what it wanted out of its subjects. And like all tyrants it did so to hide from the shame of its own emptiness. It drove her toward a breakdown.

Eventually she learned that there’s no reasoning with a tyrant. The tyrant has no reason. The tyrant has only likes and dislikes.

Today her aim is simply to allow her fingers to play what they can play according to the notes. The body has its own intelligence. Whatever free attention she has, she directs to sensing her fingers. Not a thinking about her fingers, but a simple direct sensing.

She sees how often she must re-direct and come to her fingers. She sees how often there is an urge to mutter something inwardly. She sees how often there is the picture of having already mastered the piece. She does not judge what she sees. This is not an exercise in morality. She simply re-directs her attention to sensing herself. It is simple, but it is not easy.

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