Introduction

jsg is chest
heart of the strings
trunk of the player
sound chamber
wood bone blood flesh
voice.

Thinking of my pieces, some of them have moments of great internal movement – a jump over an interval I would not have predicted or didn’t imagine — it is always a surprise. The next phrase is startling. It’s what my teacher Dr. R. called a mutation; it doesn’t seem to follow the previous moment, and it doesn’t feel evolutionary. It is always a surprise.

At dinner, Yossi said, “if you took a snapshot of the situation now, it would look like there’s no hope” [for peace]. I asked Father Marek the Polish priest-philosopher, “did you foresee the fall of Communism in your country? Did you feel the Wall coming down in Berlin before it came down?” He stared straight ahead and said in his English, ‘No, we had hope . . . and prayers.”

In the Haftarah from Jeremiah that week, one of the dark readings in the three weeks preceding Tisha B’Av, railing against “those who have strange gods . . . those who called wood my father.”

Everybody knows wood is my mother.

The piece jumps
From mi to la
Unexpected
But not impossible;

This is
Peace-making,
My teacher said to me.

jsg, usa