I walk into the room & a little girl
greets me with a delighted request –
“Can we play the piano?!”
She remembers the first time we met.
My client & friend comments fondly –
“Brock, a normal person would say,
‘Let me talk with your Great-Aunt for awhile,
& maybe we’ll play the piano a bit later.’
But you just say ‘Yes!'”
I’ve never done what I was supposed to do.
Learn their name. Scan their clothes.
Notice the politics. Assess the finances.
I’m always busy doing something else.
When I was an educator I would
get a quick sense of the disabilities.
Then I would ignore them
so I could focus upon the capacity.
When I was a therapist I would
get a quick sense of the pathologies.
Then I would ignore that
so I could focus upon the potential.
This six year old attacks the keyboard
with two fisted alternating bashes.
So I suggest we try some Rock & Roll.
She drops into harmonious attunement.
And our jam mellows into Free Jazz.
The session leads the three of us
(along with their giant sweet dog)
into a grotto up in Matilija Canyon.
The child learns what picnic means.
The four of us make a meal together
seated upon a boulder embracing us all.
Then she wants to climb rocks.
I am following the unfolding beauty.
So we make our way together
an elder man, a little girl & a dog
playing back & forth across the creek
while Auntie watches from the boulder.
My focus goes total –
Keep the other adult in
line of sight or earshot.
Let the child plan the route
but structure for safety.
She has a little cough
the water is very cold
her feet must stay dry.
Let her focus settle naturally.
Gently direct for learning.
She is watching & listening –
Point her senses toward beauty.
Help her grow toward becoming
the special being she is meant to be.
For me there is a moment of wonder –
How do I know how to do this?
This was not a part of my training.
This is what I was born to do.
And she will forever remember herself
as a competent successful
negotiator of tricky passages.
This girl is a shrewd bargainer,
& I honor my promises,
so at the days end
we return again to the piano.
I feel the call to comp on some chords
originally composed by Pachelbel.
She drops into the spirit of pure play.
And together we enter into sharing
a four-handed co-creative improvisation
making a moment of music
that no one who was present
will ever forget.
It is as if we must
let the ways of the form die,
so the way of the Soul
can be born.