Scene One – GLAZED DONUT – Heights Restaurant, Madison, Wisconsin, April 2019
French press, dark roast coffee nips my tongue. China cup clinks the saucer below. Brazil roast did she say? A barista brings a scone, butter, and cloth napkin. I dunk a blackberry, lime scone into my coffee and recall my first dunked donut.
Scene One – 400 West Lincoln Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, May 1949
“Hush, child, you’ll wake the chickens.” Mokey tugs my hand. The spring-hinged, pine planked door closes silently behind us. Moonlight yields to animal darkness. Squawk, the monsters perched above me warn of our intrusion into their fertile solitude.
“Okay, guys, line up,” coach Johnson bellowed. “ You - Smith - at the head of the line, start the count by shouting out ‘one.’ Then Williams, you’re ‘two’ and so on down the line. Even numbers will be shirts and will cover this goal. Odd numbers will be skins.”
“Three, four, five…” the boys ahead of me counted.
My piano teacher said, “Music communicates in many ways. What if you composed a melody where your music goes down the scale from higher to lower notes? In most of your songs, melodies ascend.”
How could I do this? That evening I struggled to compose a descending melody. Without a point of reference, or awareness of an example, it’s difficult to create new music.
This morning I heard a descending melody on the radio. I never heard the descending melody in the song until my piano teacher asked her question. When we pause and pay attention to what we experience, we raise our awareness in the present moment. If we increase awareness in one part of life, we elevate attention in other parts as well.
Gabe sought passion in his work yet; he didn’t have words to describe what he really wanted. A part-time musician and accountant, he felt stuck in his career. “I’m just an accountant. I don’t see anything special in my work,” Gabe lamented. “Be yourself, I suggested. “Passion, and the life you want, will find you.”
About the Author
Richard Wilberg is a creativity coach, musician, photographer, and former business leader who lives in Madison, Wisconsin.