Solo piano concerto for a new year…

I have this mental picture of a concert pianist about to set hands to keys… pin-drop quiet in the hall… adjusting the seat… lightly shaking the arms… digits hovered over the blacks and whites… the momentary pause to focus before the first note… And then flows the masterpiece!

Approaching my writing keyboard is nothing like that, of course. False starts, discordant notes and incomplete thoughts are what the writing process is composed of.

At a time when the calendar bellows at us that it’s time for a fresh start, many of us are reviewing the raw material of our past year, which perhaps is also characterized by false starts and discordant notes, and attempting to summon meaning and renewed purpose from it all.

For me, a repeating motif of this past year has been the occasions for tears. But wait — before you write me off as a downer, allow me to remind that tears flow in both joys and sorrows. Indeed, both are often mixed in the same tears.   Continue reading

A musical fable…

Sometimes allegory can express what prose cannot. Here is a new piece, a very short one. I hope it touches you.


The day having strewn her winding path with varied turns and twists, Poetta found herself near sunset out on a lush, happy, grassy field — at peace yet not in stillness.

Her deep contentment was born not of quietness, but of melodies and motion and voices.

Among a throng of musicians and revelers, her thoughts were lively as well. Hearing someone speak of happiness, she cried out, “That voice! I recognize that voice…”

And she realized it was her own.

Poetta had lived many, many years, yet she was still a girl. A girl with a voice. A girl who thought often about sunsets.

Upon arriving at this grassy field she met a dear friend who thrilled to see that in spite of the stumbles on the shadowy road just behind her, she was still able to dance.

She told him, “There are many ways our stories get told. I dance with a limp – that is one of mine.”

Seeing his concern over the streaming tears accompanying her joyous smile, she addressed the question he had not verbally posed.

To his quizzical countenance she replied, “When music makes me this happy, it hurts.”

And though she knew this made perfect sense to him, she continued:

“That’s what music does. It shows me my most all-encompassing joy and my profoundest sorrow at the same time. It puts them right there in front of my face — at the front of my heart! — where i cannot *not* feel them, and i cannot be still. And it makes them indistuinguishable from each other.”

Her friend replied wordlessly with a strong, warm embrace, while the music carried on around them.