Piano: The Bronze Buddha of Kamakura (When Times Are Good)
Updated: Apr 29, 2020
Imagine the Bronze Buddha of Kamakura, pupil-less eyes staring forward, arms folded across his chest, resting cross-legged upon a lotus, contemplating the infinite.
Now imagine Buddha opening and extending his arms. He pushes out his elbows as his mighty arms descend, moving almost imperceptibly, falling from the great heights where his consciousness had held them, until his fingers alight, with a whisper, upon the piano keyboard.
On the golden nights, the magic nights, Buddha is in my fingers. He plays, I listen. He bringeth me to exotic chord substitutions, shaketh open the memorable solos.
Most nights, I am the sound of one hand soloing in an empty forest. I am cheap whiskey being poured into a highball glass with a fake bottom. I am a waitress with a glaring headache.
But on nights like tonight, Buddha Left Hand and Buddha Right Hand prance up and down the keyboard, in a world of our own. I play like an augmented koan, like a paid-back loan. I am with Diz, what is, and Bird, Word.
These are the beautiful nights, the nights that radiate Zen. I will recall them, when life is not Zen, when the rent is overdue, when the simplest phrase is like swinging a hammer, on those nights of anguish when I ask myself: Why do I do this?
Not for the little money, not the inhuman hours, not the smell of the night club, one part flat desperation, two parts stale beer.
It is for the way my hands feel tonight, my heart, my tapping feet, my soaring mind. I fly through space, back and forth through time, the centuries fall from my shoulders, uncovered treasures from the same old notes, atomic new intervals.
"Yes! Uh Huh!" cries Buddha Brain, as Left Hand fires, and Right Hand answers, and together with Buddha Feet we dance together down this latest stage of enlightenment, approaching the grand gate, where all notes shall one day be as one.
When every tyrant
shall fall upon his sword
In one magnificently