A frisky breeze is tossing fall leaves into the air in front of my windshield when I turn on the car radio. The commentator on a classical music station is introducing a recording of Mozart’s Kegelstatt Trio. He explains that “Kegelstatt” is the German word for a place where you play skittles, and that Mozart came up with this chamber music for viola, clarinet and piano while playing skittles with friends.
I like the idea that composition can emerge from pure play, in this case in some 18th century version of a bowling alley.
This gave me my first message for the day: create through play
I love the sense that the world is sometimes slipping us a Tarot card, from an infinite deck. On the literal roads of everyday life, I’m often struck by how the first thing that comes on the car radio, or the first vanity plate or bumper sticker I spot on a car, may contain a clue to the quality of the day. Yesterday the first vanity plate I noticed while walking my dogs read WAT U WISH. This got me thinking long and deep about the nature of wishcraft. What we encounter in life has a great deal to do with what we wish – or fail to wish – and whether our wishes come from the head or the heart, from the little self of the big Self.
A friend reported that the first bumper sticker she saw read “I Won the Time War”. That feels to me like an nod of approval from the universe, whether you read it in the mundane sense of managing to get things done in allotted tick-tock time, of in the larger sense of inhabiting a more spacious time in the multiverse (which my friend had been discussing at the moment she spotted the bumper sticker).
The behavior of birds and animals sometimes has the quality of a Greater Trump coming into play. Once when I was speaking about the character of the Trickster in mythology, a red fox appeared on a grassy knoll behind my head, visible to everyone in the group except me. Every time I turned my head, he would vanish, only to reappear when I wasn’t looking, until that session was done. Hard to miss the fact that the Trickster card was in play that day – as proved to be the case, richly, beyond that workshop session.
 Due diligence: the history professor in me always needs to check the provenance of stories like this. It turns out there is no evidence that Mozart came up with the Kegelstatt Trio while playing skittles; the title of the piece was added by publishers many years later, However, by his own account a week before writing this piece he was inspired to write 1212 duos for basset-horns (K. 487) while playing skittles; he noted on the first page of that autograph: “Vienna, 27 July 1786 while playing skittles” (“Wien, den 27ten Jullius 1786 untern Kegelscheiben”) So the message on the car radio – create through play – holds good.