On some level, I suppose that music making is for me a selfish activity. Of course, it necessitates giving -- giving the best of my energy, my focus, and my desires to a sound that can be shared with other people. Talking about music or teaching music are similarly giving activities that I find great joy in throwing myself into. Yet, this very giving makes me feel drained and invigorated simultaneously, in a word, alive, perhaps in a way that no one else in the room gets to experience at that moment.
The sensations of music making are intense: hearing the sounds around me from my instrument, my colleagues, and the audience; watching intently and creating momentary visual lassos to other players in the ensemble; being aware and yet not-aware of the temperature of the room, the folds of my clothing, the smooth curve of my flute; tasting every note as the air resonates in my chest, my throat, and my face before it leaves my body -- all these sensations are made more real, more meaningful, and more beautiful in an intense musical moment, and it is their very realness that is so life-affirming.