Archive for March, 2015

  1. The Fly in the Soup of Perfection

Yes, music matters a great deal to me. It has been an addiction.

On a good day, I will tell you it has given me great joy and heavenly pleasure. But don’t ask me on a bad day, or I will tell you about the enormous trials, tribulations and frustration of considering myself an unsuccessful, failed musician.

Unsuccessful and failed, not only, because it looks as if I never made it – at my age I’m not very likely to get anywhere with it, – but more importantly, because of the impossibly elusive nature of achieving musical perfection, even as a passer-by.

Unfortunately, when you sing or play an instrument, a wrong note, a note produced without the right musicality, the right tone, the perfect tuning, the perfect rhythm, can leave a feeling similar to having found a pebble in your pie or a fly in your soup. You can crack a teeth or feel nauseous.

Sadly, music happens in time, at a particular instant. Once done, it seems you can’t change the fate of it. Of course, I know you can practice and correct, but that moment, that opportunity to reaching perfection, has gone for ever.

So often, the hundreds of hours of practice are ruined by a second of fear. In my case, as soon as I know someone is listening, I become self-conscious and that is the end of the game: the end of pleasure, elation and of course the end of the possibility of achieving the perfect sound, the perfect expression.

Our brain, like an unconscious fly, stops for a millisecond on the dangerous tightrope of a whiff of air, to ponder on the soup, on its possible dangers, rewards and delights … and falls into the soup! to a certain death: artistic death.

In a way, I am very grateful for my failure as a musician. Certainly, if I had been successful as an opera singer or a pianist, which would have been my two main ambition as a musician, I might not be writing.

Thank God, a writer is something I am. Music is just an addiction.

So, today I’ll try to celebrate with a smile, the fly in my soup and my failure as a musician.

But as I often say… if you have to try, you are not doing it!!


How to Grow Old the Right Way Up

Saturday 31st January 2015

28. Something to look forward to…

Yes… we all need that. I discovered it while sinking into the emptiness of depression of a life, that seemed to me at the time, a complete failure.

My love life was, to all appearances, fine. In spite of a hand to mouth existence, I had a nice husband and two gorgeous children

I had always thought and dreamed that poverty was not an obstacle if, paraphrasing the Catalan songwriter Joan Manuel Serrat,  “…the horizon is light and the path, a kiss..” (Si el horizonte es luz y el rumbo un beso).

But, those like me, who have been squeezed nearly to death by the paws and claws of poverty, know that that is only a dream. A loving kiss with at least some food in your belly, a roof over your head, and the certainty of being able to survive is very different to the daily gripping anxiety for your children and partner and yourself, when all doors seem closed and there is no paternalistic state to help you cover, even the minimum of your needs and health care. We are so lucky in this country, that American writer Patrick Harrington in his very interesting book, When Science meets Religion, describes it as nearly an Utopian paradise… Sadly many people don’t know what they have until they lose it!

I am digressing heavily! All I wanted to say is that in those very dark moments, I created the goal of becoming a writer in my old age, and a grandmother. That has kept me going through all the difficulties and anxieties of failure and solitude and, it is indeed my most permanent and unshakeable reason for constant joy.

Today, I have given birth to the first child of my brain, Book I of The Thermodynamics of Love Trilogy, The Secret Life of a God. If all goes well, it will be on the Amazon Shelves tomorrow, in time for my birthday. Its age is debatable though. If I count from the moment of gestation, I have given birth to a teen-ager. It celebrated its 15th birthday this past January!

Happy reading of it or of anything else you enjoy reading and… keep your goal alive even if each one takes you 15 years to accomplish!

How to Grow Old the Right Way Up
Saturday 28th March 2015

  1. Earth Hour: Turning on the Inner Light

Tonight, as even great landmarks of our civilization turn their lights off, I plan to turn on my inner light and to have a good look around.

Usually the noise, bustle and, indeed, the bright lights of modern life keep us going forwards more by force than by purpose. Perhaps they are preventing us from growing old the right way up: towards the light.

What I just wrote, made me reflect on the fact that I tend to perceive light as above me. Yet, I know it shines ever so brightly in the centre of my heart and mind whenever, truth, love, faith and hope guide each one of my steps.

I hope we all keep the inner light turned on, as we approach each stage of our lives.