Posted by: balladofyoko | August 24, 2007


My car is fixed– seems to be running normally now.

Am in the process of preparing for a recital that’s in a few weeks. Had a meltdown last night, in the middle of practicing. Those are the times when I have to put the clarinet down and walk away. I’ll try again later.

Made pesto from lemon basil. I like it. Am bringing a caprese salad for Scrabblefest tomorrow.



  1. Re: meltdown during practice. I know Aikido often brings things to the surface that I’m working on, or accentuates what I’m already feeling. It was for this reason I skipped practice last Wednesday – I already had plenty at the surface, and needed some time with myself on the elliptical rather than to bring it out further.

    Is playing music, for you more like Aikido or more like a solitary practice, for integration, reflecion, etc?

  2. That’s a good question, Wiz. Practicing music for me is mostly done in solitude, so there’s reflection involved, a lot of analysis. Practicing with my music partner is very much like aikido partner practice– there’s a lot of emphasis on blending (although no one gets thrown down on the floor, ha ha). Performing music in front of an music is very much like randori– exhilarating and lots of movement involved, except that it’s largely scripted, in the case of the music I usually play.

    My main issues with practicing music have to do with being very critical of myself. On good days, I can be objective, or at least forgiving. On bad days, I get in my own way and get really upset. For myself, the best way to approach playing is to have a certain amount of detachment emotionally, line up the mind and the mechanical body movements and listen to my playing away from the instrument. In the grand scheme of things, I have more good days than bad.

    I do this detachment better with aikido, actually, probably because I started this discipline later in life as an adult, when I had learned more about myself. Most of my learning how to play clarinet has historically been about getting rid of bad habits that I had learned as a kid.

  3. what was wrong with the car? did it need much work?

  4. The car needed new inner and outer tie rods, and the tires were rotated. I’m planning on taking my car to my currently vacationing mechanic next month for state inspection anyway, so I’ll ask him if anything else needs to be taken care of then.

  5. You’re doing all the right things; it’s just that practicing can be extremely frustrating at times if you’re serious. I always take “comfort” in the words of Dizzy Gillespie: “Some days you get up and put the horn to your chops and it sounds pretty good and you win, some days you try and nothing works and the horn wins. This goes on and on and then you die and the horn wins.”

  6. when and where is your recital? what are you playing?


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