Scene One – THE FINEST SILVER – Dubai, United Arab Emirates, City Centre, September 1980
A delicious odor of roast goat overwhelms the fragrance of cardamom infused in my Arabic coffee. “Ah, Friday morning in the souk offers unusual pleasures.” Moussa leans across the table and flicks an ash from his Turkish cigarette. “I observed a herd of fine beasts on my way to meet you. Today is their turn.”
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.
About the Author
Richard Wilberg is a creativity coach, musician, writer, photographer, and former business leader who lives in Madison, Wisconsin.