My singing lesson was at 16:00. I was only at Breda by 15:30 stuck in a traffic jam that had us moving at 10 km an hour for what seemed like aaages. At this rate I’ll be there by six I thought. I turned off for the petrol station to call I. and tell her I wouldn’t make it on time to The Hague for my lesson…
In the parking I got out my charangito and plucked its strings. Even for an as-yet non-player it yields the most amazing sounds. Then I mosied over to the shop. The phone rang: it was my teacher, generous and funny and wise. She said: can you make it by 6? I have a slot free. Good job I hadn’t turned around. 1 km past the petrol station the jam miraculously cleared, so close after I had considered turning back. I reached Kijkduin with half an hour to spare. Enough to walk in the dunes and feel the wind in my hair. Why were there tears streaming down my face? The nice thing about being by the sea is that it is so much bigger than you. The sound and the air are so all-encompassing it is easy to be absorbed in them, and disappear. Over the dunes I came towards the sea, but first I passed a hut made from salvaged materials. Inside were mammoth teeth which the fishermen sometimes find in their nets. Outside there was a sign which said: “The course in dealing with disappointments has unfortunately been cancelled.” My lesson was much in the same tone, ie. nothing to do with disappointments. Celebratory, graphic and wide. As I was lying on the table she took a big sound bowl, lay it on top of me and struck it with a mallet. Red, pink, white and magenta flames of sound lapped up over the bowl’s edge and the sound resonated through my body from my head to my toes. She moved the bowl up a little, and the flames became yellow and green. Back down again. She put it on my shin, that felt a bit flat, then on my knee, that resounded marvellously. My left leg thoroughly ceded and all of a sudden I passed into another state of being, which was blissful and filled with peace. Then the right leg complied. I don’t know if ever you have had the experience of being a human tuning fork, but the feeling is quite divine. After that you get up and sing. Now that’s what I call living.