January 3, 2015

A full day's work

Referring to Millet’s painting “Man with a Hoe,” Tomoko notes how the worker holds his body. “He is tired after a day of harvesting. He is braced against a stick to hold himself up.” Tomoko knows the feeling of a long day of hard work.

For Tomoko, morning brings light. Early morning is her favorite time of day; Tomoko sometimes wakes as early as 3:30am. “I tell my students that two hours of practice in the morning is the best start.” Tomoko remembers when she was a young girl in Japan, taking a street car and bus to arrive at school by 6:30am so she could practice before classes began for the day. “The brain was so fresh for school.”

These days Tomoko often spends part of her morning in her garden, where she feels close to nature. A garden is also full of potential. Tomoko likes to bring order to her natural surroundings: from a jungle to a lovely garden. In the same way, she brings order to sound as she works the musical “rows.” She sees the garden as a metaphor for musicians; both take much work and much patience. “Labor is labor,” says Tomoko. Both require connections, and both offer ways for self-expression. The rewards can be immediate, as when planting or weeding – such as working through a particular section of a composition – and sometimes it takes years to see the results.

Tomoko concludes, “When I worry, gardening takes care of that stress, like playing music. Both focus the mind, eyes, and hands to forget problems.” And at the  end of the day, Tomoko has worked hard, “and I sleep well, satisfied.”

No comments:

Post a Comment