Within the soundproofed walls, the candles knew the truth. This wasn’t nirvana. It was a building in the grimy backlands of Clapham Junction station. In the yoga studio all was hushed, but the candle flames stirred to agitated vibration as a train passed. Delicate instruments, shivering to an influence none of us could hear or feel.
The truth was I shouldn’t be here, lying still on a purple slip of mat in a row of people who looked like they’d all fallen from the sky. Being told by a barefoot girl to empty my mind. To quiet my thoughts. And just be.
Quiet was something I’d had too much of in the past few weeks.
If this were a proper day I’d be at my piano, sending glorious noise out of its black wing. For hours I would see only the black and white keys. My reflection in the lacquer-black bodywork swaying across the gold lettering. My hands lifting and falling.
That was before the pain.
Now, on this first Monday, instead of dancing up a storm of demisemiquavers on a Hamburg Steinway, I was lying on a wooden floor on a sticky mat, trying to be – quiet.