S HE PUT THE VIOLIN UNDER HER CHIN AND, ONE BY ONE , LOOKED AT THE OTHER MUSICIANS. THEN, WITH A NOD OF HER HEAD THAT WAS ALMOST INVISIBLE, THE MUSIC BEGAN. SOFT SOUNDS FROM A GUITAR BLENDED WITH THE RICH TONES OF A TENOR SAX. A DRUMMER ALSO CARESSED CYMBALS WITH A STEEL BRUSH THROUGH IT ALL FLOATED THE THIN, LILTING MELODY OF HER VIOLIN
Together they moved through a realm so sweet, and sometimes so frantic, that it seemed to me they were all watching the same conductor.
If so, no one else saw him. The four musicians stood alone on the stage, each adding what only he or she could to a creation that could not have happened without all of them. A melody emerged, but no one person played it! They were each playing different melodies, but together they played a melody that was different still .The music became fuller and louder, richer and much more complicated.
Then the guitar, the drums, and the saxophone began to play much more softly. Moments later, an amazing sound came from my friend’s violin. Soaring and dancing, tumbling and flowing, up and down and up again, it filled the room. Sweetly, then harshly, then softly again a new melody snaked itself away from the old, returned to it, and left it again .The guitar, saxophone, and drums played with it at every turn of its journey, sometimes supporting, sometimes challenging, and sometimes moving with it.
I had never heard jazz like this before. My friend finished her astounding performance with a flourish. I could not keep myself from clapping . Even before the applause faded, the guitarist began to rock gently on his stool, as if he were praying. Sweet notes slowly appeared as if from nowhere. The contrast of the guitar with the violin was gentle, yet stirring. In his own way, in his own time, he captivated us, excited us, delighted us, and soothed us. Beside his sounds, beneath his sounds, and through his sounds the sax, drums, and violin filled in all that was missing, and made space for all that he gave.
Again the room burst into applatise. In turn, the saxophone player and the drummer stepped to the center of the musical circle. Each gave completely, led yet also joined, glowing in the musical light that the others shone on him or her . Applause exploded again and again as the music grew deeper and fuller. Then, slowly, they began to roll away the layers of complexity that each had contributed. Their sounds became softer, simpler and sweeter, until at last, in one lovely blending of notes and drumroll, they ended together.
The applause continued for a long time. The musicians nodded their acceptance to the audience and, I noticed, to one another. It seemed to me that they had completed a remarkable journey, and the shared experience of it had created a new and deeper bond between them, even though they played together often.
Could it be that each journey they took together—each concert—was different? Did each performance take them to unexplored depths, and bond them anew? I asked my friend, and she said , “Yes.” “Sometimes we experiment with themes that we have discovered, and sometimes we create something new. No concert is like another, and some of them are very different.”
“How do you do that?” I asked. She thought a moment, and then said, ”l listen very hard so that what I play will be right. Not right in the sense of right or wrong, but right in the sense of what is needed. Together we find—or maybe we discover—or maybe we create—the groove. I can’t tell you what that is, but I know when I am in it. We all do.”
I listened quietly. “Finding the groove requires two things from me,” she added, as if thinking this through for the first time. “What are they?” I asked. “Complete self—responsibility, and complete surrender,” she answered simply, nodding her head in approval of her clarity. That is cooperation. It is also humbleness. Cooperation and humbleness always go together. Humbleness is seeing that everyone’s path through the Earth school is as difficult as yours, and as very important. It is not pretending that you are meek, or inferior. It is making the music together that can not be made alone, and that cannot be made without the music that only you, alone, can make.
You can be humble only with friends. If you feel that you are less than another person, you will be intimidated, and frightened of making mistakes. If you feel that you are more important, you will not share everything that you can because you will not respect the person you are with.
Can you give your best to someone you don’t think can appreciate it? When you are friends, giving and receiving is the groove.
Everyone offer~ what he or she has. Everyone supports everyone else. Each steps to the microphone when it is his or her time, and each plays in the background when it is someone else’s time. The music that you make together is special, and everyone knows it. You love to play it and to hear it.
Humble people feel that way all the time. They look at themselves as friends, and they look at others as friends. They cooperate naturally.
If you do not cooperate naturally, set the intention to cooperate. Then set it again and again. Eventually, you will become humble without noticing it.
Copyright @ 2000 by: Gary Zukav. (Pgs. 117-120)
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