"My Heart is in the Highlands"
A beautiful and (admittedly) simple Allegro by S. Suzuki.
And at the bottom of the page:
“Let us know how you’re playing.”
1. Are you practicing with a beautiful sound?
2. Is the tip of your bow steady?
3. Is your bow in good contact with the string?
4. Is your bow moving parallel to the bridge?
5. Is the scroll of the violin parallel to the floor?
6. Are you avoiding tension in the left hand?
7. Are your fingers curved correctly when place on the string?
8. Are you listening carefully for accurate intonation?
At first this reminded me about the old joke of how to beat a tennis player who is better than you. Just before he gets ready to serve, ask him, “When you serve, do you breathe before you toss the ball up, or after?” Word has it that it will take him months to get his smooth serve back! But, truthfully, all those questions above are indeed necessary.
What is really interesting, though, is how it begins. The first question is always, “Are you practicing with a beautiful sound?” Isn’t that a lesson for life? Before you consider anything else, are you making a beautiful sound?
~ Laird Will
A big change in the works at RavenOak
Originally posted on All Good Gifts:
I will be 64 in a couple of weeks, and as everyone knows, 64 is your Beatles’ Birthday (will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?) I hadn’t really given any thought to how to mark the event, but something happened this morning that changed my mind.
Today was a snow day, which was a good thing because I woke up at 5:30 with a sinus headache that would definitely have made me late for work. I went back to sleep and when I finally made it downstairs at 6:30, Will gave me a hug and said, “You have had your last half and half latte.” That was when I noticed that he had several pages of small-type text in his right hand. I said, “That’s OK, I’ll drink it black,” and took a step toward the French Press. Too late, he had already started reading it aloud.
The Slate of Ballachulish
The slate was in the hills
before it was in the clans,
from ancient time before the ills
of oppression and war were man’s.
So from this strength of slate
and iron were they made,
and o’er that rock great
and humble were alike arrayed
throughout the glen
in croft and byre, when
the soldiers came.
From the sorrows rose the flame
of freedom in their hearts,
with the toughness the old slate imparts
to soul and limb;
making bright their courage
when their hopes were dim . . .
Today beneath the ancient hills
the slate remains;
its iron strength runs still
in Highland veins.
© 2013, Laird Will Melnyk
For those who wish they could be traveling to Scotland this year, this from July of 2012:
Portals of the mind and heart
our sacred spaces,
though far apart;
pathways of the spirit
where we find
the clues to who we are,
where we are,
and where we wish to be.
~ Laird Will, 2012