Time for Reflection–by Midori / 想いをめぐらせて (五嶋みどり)

Time for Reflection, blog entry by Midori

The time I spend during the ICEP tour in Japan is always one of reflection. We are now slightly past the midpoint, and we have had an array of experiences that each one of us will all take into ourselves in individual ways.

During the weekend, we had an event to exchange ideas and opinions with music students at the Tokyo University of the Arts (Geidai).

I summarize that beyond the details of what we have each done for outreach or community engagement activities, the critical point made was the recognition of how they have enriched our lives.

My wishes for myself that I gained from the earlier days of having been involved in education, community engagement, or voluntary activities, were fundamental in giving me direction in the life-path. There were countless times when I felt so completely helpless seeing the extreme situations brought forth by natural, political, social, and medical conditions. In this world, there are wars, earthquakes, and typhoons.  There are also human ills of dishonesty, avarice, etc. that we all struggle with within ourselves and encounter in others, which cause, in part, human rights issues, and our inner turmoil. We see to learn that not everyone can access healthy living; some are extremely ill, others may be challenged, physically, developmentally, or psychologically. And yet, I have my faith in human resilience. In these undermining situations, that the people listened and were moved or made curious by the music as I played, are encouragement and inspiration beyond imagination for any aspiring or established musician.

Practicing one’s instrument is extremely important for any musician, as it improves instrumental skills, with which one handles the instrument and gain the ability to express, through sounds, ourselves. Granted, through what we see, hear, smell, taste, and feel–our experiences–we are shaped into who we are.

When I prepare my dinner at home, I need ingredients, which I would cook up, using utensils. I would say that, for a musician, the ingredients are the life experiences; preparing method the technique; and the utensils our teachers, mentors, and guides.

It isn’t possible for me to imagine my life in any other way than what it is, but for what it is, I feel honored, to be able to share, to give, and to receive.