Today I walked through the marrow deep, cold stillness of December. The pale light of the winter solstice and the dry crunch of frozen dirt hold more austerity than the cheerful glitter of January’s white snow-filled festivity. Even the bark of the dog sounds hollow echoing between the naked trees. But somehow I welcome the dry bitterness of the air. It awakens life in me, like a good gin and tonic or the smell of the boughs of balsam that I gathered for the mantel. The air is icy hot. By contrast my body feels vibrant and noisy. But then also the stillness creeps in so profoundly that I have no desire to disturb the silence or thaw out from the moment. Of late, against this backdrop, my cello sounds brassy and unkempt. It is hard to find notes worthy of winter’s wholesome silence. But necessity requires it.
Yet, sometimes I feel that the music could almost play without me if I waited patiently and stopped chasing my scales. Even if just one note came, effortlessly, it would capture the essence of dark December. This note would rest in a quiet place, like a seed in the frozen dirt. It would wait there for a very long time, hopeful and filled with possibility.