After two solid months of practice, I finally got to the point where I can play Bach's, Air. My fingers know their way, my mind hears the three voices and can speak fluidly all three, and my ears know the rhythm and the feel.
Playing it last night, I had an epiphany about why it's called, Air. When everything's working together, almost thoughtlessly, something in you really starts to feel like it's flying. Is it your spirit? Your mind? It feels like it's your whole body.
You're flying on Air.
It's not floating either--it's flying, and there's a difference. Floating is what the listener gets to do, flying is what the musician is doing.
If someone was sitting listening to me play the song, they'd probably think it's pretty simple: a beautiful, simple song. They wouldn't know how long it took to teach my left hand to play staccato while my right hand sang in legato. (The wings) They might not understand it took hours to map a course my fingers could navigate without tripping (The coordination of the wings to fly), or that it was learned, not measure by measure, but note by note (the strength of the wings to bear the body up).
That's the way it is with horses, too. To the observer, it looks like we're just walking a calm horse, or grooming a gentle horse, or riding a cooperative horse, and it probably seems so simple. It's not their fault--how could they understand the countless lessons, the infinite amount of lessons learned to make it look that way.
When I took a break from horses and had kids, upon my return I realized how little I'd actually known when I was young. I remember how humbling it felt to see a "master" work with horses. They'd see things I missed, they'd accomplish things I thought were impossible--I felt deaf, dumb and blind, but I decided I wanted to learn about horses more than anything else in the world and I knew, even as I decided it, that I could spend the rest of my life learning and never come close to learning it all.
That was okay with me then and it still is now. Every horse is like a new song and the ability to "fly" with that horse is not earned without time and dedication. No one will ever know the seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, and years spent learning the song, but they'll know a partnership when they see it, and probably think it came easy.
Yesterday was very cold, so I didn't have a TTouch lesson, but the day before, I did work with Beautiful and Cowboy. Cowboy seems to get so much from each session and lately I haven't seen him stand with his bad foot out at all. Dare I hope? Beautiful, born in the wild and always on high-alert, with a little rubbing of the wand from neck to hoof, has learned to bring her head down, relax and think. Will this be one of her missing pieces? I don't have the answers, but I know I love the journey...the song....practicing, learning and, every once in a while, feeling like I'm flying.