Music of the Renaissance

I finished reading a short book entitled “Music of the Renaissance” today which I had borrowed from the Berkeley Public Library (I have been trying to make use of the library, inspired by my good friend John. =) ). It was nice to read about that era of music and it has rekindled an old joy of mine for music of that time; how sweet and pure and colorful a music it can be…

I was also quite interested in reading about the culture of music in those times, or perhaps better to say how music was a part of culture. It seemed like both in the secular and the popular musical styles, music had quite an impact as part of the lives of people, that people both really appreciated as well as participated in music making (the idea of a a more social music has been on my mind lately, especially after chatting with Linda from Tai-Chi camp about fiddling and Cajun music culture in Louisiana). It also seemed that although composers were focused in their regional styles, they also kept quite aware and in touch with other composers in different areas working in different ways, with some able to incorporate and master many styles.

My takeaway from all this is not so much in depth knowledge but rather just reopening an old door and beginning to explore once again music of this time. I really enjoyed spending time reading about music like this as it had been some time since life felt settled enough to do so, and am looking forward to listening to Renaissance music once again. It feels great to slowly get in touch again with my musical life and I hope to be able to keep this going by tapping into music daily…

Tai Chi Camp 2007

This year’s Tai Chi Camp (June 17-22) was our fifth Tai Chi Camp with our teacher Lenzie Williams. As always, the experience was fruitful on every level, from deep work with the body, a great deal of learning, and of course getting to spend time with an absolutely wonderful community of Tai Chi players in the beautiful setting of Walker Creek Ranch.

This year’s camp seemed to have gone by faster than other years.  It may have felt that way as in the past camp normally came around as a real break from the regular schedule of daily life, while this time life had already been floating along so that we didn’t have the shift in perception of time that we had in the past.  It may also have been that it was our fifth camp and having some familiarity and sense of how camp goes, though I think each camp has its own unique sense of time and this one felt as if time was just flying by.

Although it felt fast, the camp was a very welcome time and experience.  I felt that the work on the body building a more stable posture really seemed to have transferred over to daily life as I feel much better grounded since camp.  One of the biggest take aways from camp this year for me personally was the discussions on practice.  Being in Lenzie’s school and having been to other camps, I felt like I had heard a number of these ideas before, but like many things in Tai Chi, they did not ever really make the impression that they did until this time around.  (I have the feeling Lenzie has not done anything different but just simply the my mind is now opening up to ideas he’s been explaining for years… :P)

I know from past camps that I would always have learned a great deal but somehow would miss carrying a large portion of what was learned into the every day practice after camp.  Since the end of camp though I think that I’ve really begun to establish a strong daily practice now, largely in part due things really clicking from what was discussed at camp about practice, but also starting to keep a journal logging what I’ve been doing at each of my practices (warmups, form, sections of form postured, standing, etc.). Practices since camp have been as mindful as they ever have been and I’ve been enjoying waking up each morning and again engaging with study and practice of Tai Chi.

While the camp came and gone, I have a strong feeling that I will remember this camp as one where many things came to fruition.  It was another great camp with our teacher and friends from the school as well as new friends and old from other parts of the country.  I feel very fortunate and grateful to be able to experience these camps and am looking forward to the next camp already!  ^_^

A Long Time Settling In

It’s been a long time since I felt the sense of daily life… from the last month in Warsaw with all the traveling and visits from friends, to adjusting to the culture of America on returning, to returning to California and looking for a place to live while working as a contractor and also interviewing for jobs and finally getting a new job, life has felt as if it has been floating by.

Two weeks ago at the yearly Tai Chi camp we go to I realized how much has changed in life between last year’s camp and this year’s camp.  It wasn’t really until camp this year did I begin to finally feel as if life was beginning to settle back down.  After traveling to Atlanta this past week for my job, I feel as if now I can finally get around to finishing up setting up the apartment with Lisa and getting on with with the business of living life.

I did pick up a new PDA (Palm TX) a week and a half ago and it has been a wonderful tool to help me sort through my old life on my previous PDA to get an idea of where I am (still working through this process) as well as become an invaluable tool for keeping records of how I’m spending my time now.  I think it will be a very useful means to help return back to music making and other things.

So here we are, back in California, life again proceeding on.  I’ve been excited by all that’s been going on but glad to return to a simpler life now, and am looking ever so forward to how time will pass from here…