When watching someone improvise a piece of music, I love moments where the audience and the artist share a terrifying, exhilarating realization that the musician has pushed themselves too far- there isn’t any further they can go with a musical idea and no way to transition to something new without it sounding ugly.
I’ve seen it go a few ways, sometimes the musician screws up, it gets too complicated and you have a rough transition. Most of the time the artist is prepared enough and can pivot to bring it back to something familiar.
Sometimes though, there are moments of absolute musical perfection, where something unexpected happens- a note, a beat, something- that brings everyone to a musical place that neither the audience or musician intended. And it works.
The same thing happens in writing, even in research papers. I find it usually happens when I am correcting a wonky sentence. In that weird misshapen sentence you find something that makes an unexpected connection. For a moment everything falls into place, it can even change the direction of a whole essay. Even if the paper turns out to be weak, I can take comfort in the fact that there was a moment where I *got* it.
You can’t plan for it, but I’m hoping that exact sort of moment will come during the absolutely epic amount of writing I have to do over the next week.
Fingers crossed that I can pull a Coltrane.
Track of the Week: Stellar Regions- John Coltrane