Stage Recess

Last month, I started a new job.

I had a few days between finalizing my offer and beginning work, so I decided to live it up a little.

I ran long in Central Park, window shopped on Madison Ave.  But one of my favorite things that I did was see an open rehearsal for the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center.

I had heard of this years ago, when a favorite yoga teacher of mine had quit her day job and was also sowing her oats in this great city.

Going to an open rehearsal is not at all like going to an actual performance of the Philharmonic.  For one thing, the cost is only $18.

The rehearsals are done in the morning, the house lights are up and the performers play in their street clothes.

If someone makes a mistake during a performance, the show must go on; but in a rehearsal, the conductor will stop and the orchestra will go back a verse or to the beginning of a set or focus on a particular group of instruments.

On the day that I went, the first piece (by Strauss, think 2001:  A Space Odyssey) was performed in its entirety.  However, when performing the second piece, there were a few kinks to be worked out.  And when the conductor saw that his orchestra could use a break, they commenced a stage recess.

I don’t play an instrument.  I’ve never been in band.  So this concept was unique to me:

That each performer could play his own instrument, without regard for what the others were playing.

Merely to shake out some crazy before getting back to work.

And that, for that reason, it had great value.

And I thought, what a lovely parallel in getting back to running after the long training cycle for a marathon —

That I suddenly didn’t need to do what the others were doing.

That I could run my own course.

And shake out my crazy.

And then, eventually, I’ll get back to work.

Run On™

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