At last I heard the music of the drums and shamisen, and the whisking noise of the clothing as the other dancers moved quickly past me onto the stage; but it’s very hard for me to remember anything afterward. I’m sure I raised my arms with my folding fan closed and my knees bent—for this was the position in which I made my entrance. I heard no suggestion afterward that I’d missed my cue, but all I remember clearly is watching my own ams with amazement at the sureness and evenness with which they moved. I’d practiced this dance any number of times; I suppose that must have been enough. Because although my mind had shut down completely, I perfromed my role without any difficulty or nervousness.

-Arthur Golden (Memoirs of a Geisha, these are the words of the main character)

Yes. This is sometimes the way it feels when one has prepared very well. And if the brain shuts down, so be it. The body knows what to do. My fingers have done this at times. I’m always amazed.

Practice. Good practice. It works.


  1. Patricia Mitchell

    Something like this happens when I am photographing a particular subject. I know I’m making technical and aesthetic decisions but I’m barely aware of them on a conscious level. And when I stop I realize that I have heard almost nothing and noticed almost nothing else during that time – it is like returning from a dream sometimes.

  2. Patricia Mitchell

    Hmm … I don’t know who posted the preceding comment. Dan? It says it’s by me, but that isn’t so! Odd.

  3. Hm… let’s HOPE this happens with my concerto today!  

  4. Patricia Mitchell

    Oh I hope so too, Cooper! And have FUN! 🙂