The Taj Coromandel has a lobby with the obligatory piano player. He only comes in during the evening, so I rarely see him. Without a reference point, I presumed that s/he was someone you could find in a hotel lobby somewhere, anywhere in the world. The instrument doesn’t matter, someone, semi-invisible, is playing a familiar standard that takes you to the original artist, rarely leaving you in the present.
Over the last two nights I experienced deep, intense sauna sessions lasting an hour. The temperature was north of 70C (160F). Additionally, the humidity was well over 70%. The natural wood smells were fantastic! Fortunately, I had come into the sessions well hydrated, so I was not totally dehydrated when I was done despite the amount of sweat. When I connect with a sauna in this manner, I emerge with a different feeling within. My spirit is call, open, and very quiet. It is resilient to the emotions that take me towards darkness. I am able to accept and hear differently.
As I walked into the lobby, I heard the piano. More correctly, I felt the melody from my heart outwards. The pianist touch was gentle, even when he was being forceful. The uniqueness to the piece he was playing that led me to guess that it was an original composition. I found a seat nearby. I do not know how long I was there. It seemed like only seconds however my watch suggested it was closer to 30 minutes. My spirit, fed now, was ready to see and experience others.
Last night I thanked the piano player for his gift. I asked about the original compositions, feeling a sense of satisfaction when he confirmed that he was the author of much of what he played. As I told him what his music had done for me, I realized I was echoing a writer I admire; “You didn’t leave me in their [darkness’] clutches but gave me room to breathe.” (Psalm 31.8)
Music is everywhere. An unknown musician’s gift was balm for my heart and soul.