Your Mind is Not Your Friend

Acrylic painting by Louise Peacock

I was having a music lesson with my gifted bass player teacher. Alfred Gertler was trying to teach me the art of timing, or in this case my coming in on time.

There was a four bar intro and I was supposed to count these four bars and come in on the fifth. Sadly and with great accuracy, I would lose count after the second bar.

After many tries, Alfred sighed and said with great conviction: “Your mind is not your friend”. He further explained “you are totally on the beat if you are not thinking about it, but the instant you start to count, you are thinking about it and lose count.” If I couldn’t get it with Alfred, who was the Worlds’ kindest and most patient teacher, there was little hope with anyone else.

I have remembered his words each and every time I screw something up which should really not be rocket science.

Alfred Gertler far left playing stick bass with our dear friend Laurel Long (R.I.P.)

Numbers have always been my great weakness. I tend to get dislexic with them. Always bad trying to work cash, counting in tunes almost impossible, I could go on. However, it’s not just numbers — other stuff also.

I get dates and names mixed up. I make mistakes when shopping (even with a list), just to mention two things.

There is, however hope. I constantly hear from other people about their own little fights with their minds.

I am not alone.

Mona scowling — unknown author
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