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October 28, 2010

Most of the time, special memories flood my head and special people demand my heart's attention. But, some days? Well, not so much. Occasionally, a day turns out all wrong - the weather doesn't cooperate, traffic snarls, people fuss over nothing -- it becomes a day I wish I had stayed at home in bed with a decadent mystery and a cup of hot tea. Today was such a day until I went to my class at OLLI.

It was the last class of the course. The instructor, a favorite of mine, brought gifts of flowers to people who had made her job a little easier. Thoughtful -- and typical for her. She also played a piece of music that I hadn't heard for a long time. I forgot how it affects me. Sitting there in the classroom with other adults listening to Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" was a visceral experience. First my feet responded, then my fingers, then my hands until I forced myself to stay still and to let the music encounter me instead of going out to meet it. 

Gershwin wrote introverted music that draws the listener inside its notes and rhythms. The sheer beauty of the composition embraced me and as I sat there with my eyes closed listening to the music, I thought about Gershwin sitting down to create that wondrous music that seeps into my being and touches me so deeply. It is the mind of the composer I hear no matter who performs the music. The mind of the composer speaks in music to the listener just as the mind of the writer speaks to the reader in words. Creativity speaks in many voices if we listen.