Free Play:Improvisation in Life and Art is a nifty and profound book which I picked up from Friends of The Library. First of all, if you are a New Yorker, you must go to Friends of the Library! It is located in the basement of the Webster branch of the NYPL. Super friendly folk sell gently used books for rock bottom prices. All the money goes to support the library. Need I say more?
Free Play, written by Stephen Nachmanovitch, is full of inspiring passages. Here is one of them:
"Every moment is precious, precisely because it us ephemeral and cannot be duplciated, retrieved, or captured. We think of precious things as those to be hoarded or preserved. In the performing arts we want to record the beautiful, unexpected performance, we schedule a rematch for the camera. Indeed, many great perfomances have been recorded, and we are glad to have them. But I think the greatest perfomances alway always elude the camera, the tape recorder, the pen. They happen in the middle of the night when the musician plays for one special friend under the moonlight, thay happen in the dress rehearsal just before the play opens. The fact that improvisation vanishes makes us appreciative that every moment of life is unique - a kiss, a sunset, a dance, a joke. None will ever recur in quite the same way. Each happens only once in the history of the universe."