Perspective in strange places

Today, during an open hoop jam, I finally figured out lifts. Off my hips, onto my right hand, switch to my left and twirl it back onto my hips, keep hooping. Now that I’ve got that done, I started trying to do it faster — instead of hooping really long before grabbing it off my hips, and then twirling it on my hands for 30 seconds before switching hands and twirling back down, I’m trying to get a good hoop movement, pull it off my hips, switch hands immediately and get it back to my hips, one fluid motion.

And this picture popped into my head.

music score, Reflections of Form

Richard Saucedo’s Reflections of Form

It’s part of the music from my Grade 11 showband show, where I think the woodwinds (definitely the alto and tenor saxes, anyways) and possibly the mallophones (marching versions of French horns, they look like overgrown trumpets) had these chromatic runs. They’re easy in the sense that scales on a saxophone follow each other for the most part (sharps and flats usually require an extra pinky finger). A G is three fingers, an A is two, a B is one. D is six, E is five … see where this is going?

It’s really easy to get sloppy with them, however. I don’t remember exactly what the tempo was, but fast would be a good, safe place to start. Because we had to memorize the music also, we practiced the runs slowly, each separately, until we could start to do them faster and faster, properly, instead of slurring and hoping the proper notes came out.

So that’s what I was trying to do with hooping today. Fast would be good, but properly, making sure my hand grab was smooth and fluid, was more important. We’re getting there.

At least I got the “moment” — we used to call it leaving your baggage at the door. Let yourself completely concentrate on one thing (in this case it was marching band) for three hours, six hours, one hour — whatever was going good or bad in your life would still be going good or bad after that amount of time. It could wait.

For me, now the “moment” means having a clear head. It doesn’t matter that I’m carrying around more secrets than usual lately, it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter. For an hour or two, I get to enjoy myself and maybe come back to something with a fresh perspective.

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