Arriving on the evening train home from Sheffield – after a day with emails, meetings, a lecture, a sandwich on the midday train to Sheffield, where my analyst kindly travels to see me weekly. The train is on time, 8:47, or a bit earlier, walking out of the station, everyone bumping along, some suitcases.
At the new rather grand glassed-in entrance to the station, I turn automatically to the right toward the taxis. As always.
There is someone playing the piano to my left...
A young man, a light piano – but it is not just a keyboard – has someone moved some kind of relatively portable Yamaha into the corner by the front doors? – a young woman stands near him, teetering on her shoes, listening...
the music is graceful, not complicated, meditative... winding through modal patterns in a questioning, long-winded, gradual melancholy...
Before I reach the glass doors I turn back in a wide circle, leaving a straggle of commuters; I walk a few feet back to a quiet place to stand halfway between the side doors and the pianist, the floating music.
She sees me paying attention, is quiet.
I just stand for a bit.
I don't put down my bag; my shoulders loosen.
A sense of time, of paying attention to something beautiful.
In analysis I spoke of my winter awareness over the past few weeks, that if Verena Kast weren't in Zürich I wouldn't be so certain of needing to study there – I spoke of my anxiety at my exam with her a year and a half ago, of how glad I am that she sets such a high standard, not only for psychoanalysis, but for life –
in my lecture today I found myself spending more time on A Chorus Line than I had expected, pointing out to them the focus on the individual dancers telling about their lives, the pain of being rejected: and lightly connecting it to the university, at how we all have these experiences of being judged, and we remember them forever –
It is a long time since I owned a piano, had a piano I could easily play. I miss my fingers meandering around on one, at night.
I don't listen to music so much any more – it often seems like work, like something from another part of my life than this one; but this has calmed me.
As he draws his melancholy improvisation to a light bit of closure, she gives him a small burst of applause, he relaxes before starting up again.
I turn, slightly reluctantly, moving more slowly.
I am now at the end of the line waiting for taxis...
not a problem, it won't be long...
I don't feel much like talking, in the taxi...
until I am home