Thomas Lawrence Toscano
...It's Not So Terrible.
I've noticed a shift this week in many things. There seems to be a new awareness that has my attention, similar to a little sprout pushing the leaves upward until they fall away and reveal this new life emerging. Such things do not behave within the confines of linear time, they operate outside of that construct just as music does. I went to a performance, two nights ago, with my dear friend Alison Nowak and was very glad I did. It's always wonderful to listen to a fabulous performance with a large audience, as everyone shares the experience of being caught up in the music as it spins and manipulates forces that we rarely think of, unless of course we are performing musicians.
This coming Tuesday, I'm off to my second surgery, this time on my right hip, and I wanted to begin a series of "presents" to all of you. Gifts that demonstrate the wonderful possibilities of life, as well as, the mysteries which, while not necessarily great mysteries, are ours. Such occurrences are our teachers, opportunities to learn, gifts of light which point and show the way. One such teachers is, in fact, a teacher. Alice Herz-Sommer. Have you heard of her?
I'm sure that some of you have and it is my privilege to bring her here to you.
Funny that I speak of time in today's post, because this will require of you some time. Will you give it? That's up to you of course. But, if you do - you will receive something extremely precious. There are a number of people that I know, although loving, and very giving and generous beyond anyone's definition, who are completely stuck, addicted for certain, to the technological reality of cellphones, incessant texting, running here and there, never taking a moment (not truly) to STOP and LISTEN, running, running, running. Listen to what? To themselves of course. To that precious little child within us all. I do my best to help, to encourage and I can of course, only change myself.
Sometimes we are forced to stop. Life comes along and makes sure that you stop. When I was struck by a car on Dec. 19th, 2017 this was such a moment. It surely stopped me in my tracks. And, thankfully my life is very different now and I cannot be more grateful for the gift of change and learning and love.
So, as I count down 4 days, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday to that exciting moment when I will have two working hips, it is my honor to give you a moment to stop and listen to Alice.
I have had a pattern in my life in the past time with angels who surround me all with names with the letter A. Alice, is the latest, a wonderful teacher, who can do as well as teach, who gives and gives and creates enormous swaths of magic that literally change the landscape. So, when I re-encountered this clip, given to me by my dear friend Joseph Russo, (currently is in Italia at a music festival where, synchronistically, his music is being heard), I knew I had to pay attention. Not only because it's yet another Alice, but, because it's a gift.
Now, you can re-gift this present of mine if you'd like (alla Seinfeld), you can ignore it, you can say to yourself "I don't have time!", and perhaps some of you will. If you're thinking that way - please re-consider. Please accept this gift and listen to Alice.
Open your hearts, shift your life for 15 minutes, that's time enough to read this and experience Madame Herz for yourself. Hear what she has to say about Beethoven, quite early on in the clip, notice how her energy, her intensity changes as she speaks of him. Open to what she says about a mother and son, of course, she was speaking of her own son, and their shared adventure. There is so much here, I humbly offer it to you, this gift to share the joyously enormous feelings all of us who perform as concert musicians feel and share each time we take the stage, or the concert hall, or the rehabilitation center, or the church hall, or the church sanctuary, or the retirement center, or the school auditorium or the gymnasium, or the living room cause Mom and Dad say to you - "Tommy, go get your accordion and play for our guests". These days, for various reasons I think of my parents a lot. They would have loved this. And, perhaps in their own way, understood a little more about our lives.
Here she is, please click on the link below. Thank you all for being here. Thomas