The weather forecasters rang the alarm bells all last week. We waited, anticipating the snow and the wind. We were not misled. The promise of a storm was, if anything, surpassed by reality, in inches and intensity. Records were set. Many events were cancelled, and we all experienced the suspension of time.
In New York City, we covered the entrances to our caves and hunkered down. We passed through the storm blissfully, with the electricity on and the wifi flowing. We made stews and chilis and caught up on projects that called for quiet focus.
In our Timebenders class at Juilliard, I've been thinking a lot about how you suspend time in music. Whether it's a fermata, or a static harmony, or the disappearance of pulse, music has a a rich vocabulary when it comes to abandoning progression. At least for a moment, the goal of a cadence or the achievement of a task becomes secondary. Savoring the present sound becomes the only thing.
Late Saturday afternoon, as I began to prepare dinner, I turned on Keith Jarrett's album of the Handel Suites. It's a favorite recording of mine, and I often turn to it when I am feeling both contemplative and in need of an encouraging energy. I've always loved the way Keith Jarrett combines his sense of the groove - more of a jazzer's backbeat -- with the elegance of the baroque dances. For a moment, in the suspended time of the blizzard, it started the clock again. Is it possible to suspend a suspension?