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We live near the water. When I go to the beach, I enjoy the sun and sand, and try to avoid the jellyfish and sunburn, just like everyone else. It’s nice. When I am still and pay attention to the ocean itself, something else begins to happen, something of an altogether different quality – perspective. ...

Once, when I was in the restroom near the front of a concert hall, I could hear the evening’s performer warming up. An international star. I’ve forgotten what he played onstage that night, but I remember what I heard through the bathroom wall: Scales. Granted, he was playing double-octave fff scales where quarter note = 144, and his notes sparkled like diamond dust as they filtered through the air ducts, but still. Scales....