I’m sitting in my kitchen, looking into fine, drizzling rain tickling the leaves of the elder which has grown too tall for itself, leggy and bending outside my window. The air around me feels spacious and cool. It’s occupied by the logical tranquility of the piano tuner’s key strikes. I’m gazing without seeing, hearing without listening.

The cat stands, stretches, and wanders across the room, disturbing the bell on his collar. It blends with the piano’s harmonics which are moving in and out of focus, trickling into the kitchen from the hallway on the other side of the door. No words. This space is peaceful.

In this moment, demands on my attention and time are quelled. I am alone but far from lonely. My ears keep me in company with the piano tuner’s progress, his temporal journey from low to high. Without thought, I’m in step with his decisions, which are evident in the vibrations and resonance that say, “Work done. This one is ready now, time to move on”.

Like everyone, I’m living in daily anxiety through inevitable, unknowable change. Like every parent, I fear the future of austerity and global damage. The insecurity can be overwhelming – what to do for the best? How much is ever enough? But I can escape for another few minutes into this step-wise sonic space of action, clarity and order.

Imagine if… our University teaching and interactions were to create this same feeling for students to sit with, for an hour or two? Where we can acknowledge the disorder and complexity of our precarious life and times, but yet enjoy moments of clarity in successive decisions that we reach – for ourselves – through absorption and creation. Agreeing that this will do, that this is well enough in time, in tune, ok for now – each single small decision accepting something beyond ourselves.  Idealistic?  Pretty sure this is how it should be.