Marilynn Mair (Celebrating a Year)
I think, looking back at my wayward path through the years, that the most valuable life skill one needs to develop in order to succeed, is to learn how to improvise. Life will never be smooth or rosy, except in very small stretches. Opportunities for your skill set may never materialize, love may not be as generous to you as you are to it, life as you planned it will definitely at some point go astray. Set-backs and tragedies await, and if you are to cope, to carry on, you need to be able to take a hard look at the pieces on the board and figure your best way forward. Right where you stand, right where you never expected to be. Imagination helps, optimism is a crucial ingredient even if it seems to have temporarily disappeared. No one teaches us how to do this, we learn from necessity. But it certainly puts jazz in a whole different perspective. And poetry, abstract painting, things most people think they don’t understand. Because, really, we are all just learning how to make life imitate art.
I think that if all we had in life to guide us was this paragraph by Marilynn Mair, we’d be okay. Life is the art of taking the jarring notes, the unlikely word, the unexpected juxtapositions, the odd shadings and turning them into something lovely. Life is the teacher. Art is the text. Creating art is survival, the way we work out understanding and meaning. Jamie Dedes
© 2013,essay and photographs, Marilynn Mair, All rights reserved
MARILYNN MAIR ~ of Celebrating a Year is known as the “angel of the tremolo” and “the first lady of mandolin”. Marilynn is Professor of Music at Roger Williams University, Bristol, Rhode Island. Her most recent CDs are Meu Bandolim and Enigmatica. Her most recent book is Brazilian Choro – A Method for Mandolin. For more of Marilynn’s story, link HERE. Marilynn Mair is a contributing writer to Into the Bardo.