We enjoyed a bracing early sunrise walk this morning.The photograph is a sample of the lovely flowers we encounter along our route. In my headspace, there were three thematic components interwoven and unfolding. Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D and Piano Concerto Opus 1, and Brahms’ Violin Concerto, also in D. Please don’t ask my brain how it mashed these three together. I am not sure how to dissemble this strangeness myself. I just revel in it, that is all. Lucy doesn’t seem to mind my occasional humming of fragments either. I literally see musical lines as moving tendrils, and my entire body thrills to the proprioceptivity inherent in this movement. And the rhythmic structures help me to walk without tripping or losing the feel of the ground beneath.

The videos attached are in order of personal preference. I played a kiddy version of the piano concerto when I was 8 years old, and I fell in love with Tchaikovsky. I think his is the only emotionally dense music that I can listen to without feeling utterly sick with emotional overload. Maybe it was the tactile introduction to his music at such an early age, that helped me look beyond the scary emotionality and connect on a sensory level? When I now hear this piece, my mind releases the proprioceptive energies from over forty years ago, and my body once more feels embraced by the totality of personal and interpersonal relatedness – one Bunny-kid and a young stranger caller Pyotr (he was very young himself when he composed the piano concerto). The violin concerto was introduced to me later, at around 10 or 12, and inspired me to learn the violin. That was shortlived, however, because my physical frailties and the overwhelming challenge of mainstream education completely dashed all my dreams and hopes in that direction – not to mention the neighbour’s dog, who would howl every time I practised violin! How was I to know it was out of appreciation? My mother and the neighbours definitely did not think so. As for the Brahms violin concerto, I studied it as one of the set pieces during my undergraduate years studying music at university. It was the piece I would play at super loud volume when I felt in need of some intense alternative drowning of massive disquieted emotions.

This morning, it was all clemency. The rain had abated, and the weather report offered some hope of sunshine coming our way.

I always need to have a song, piece of music, or at the very least a palpable rhythmic sequence in my mind when I am walking. Otherwise, I tend to lose balance. I’ve tripped a few times while out walking with Lucy. I was distracted by one thing or other, lost the concrete presence of the guiding sonic guide, and did not pay heed to Lucy’s own rhythmic leggings. Once, when a little fluffy dog suddenly lunged at her barking furiously, we both were surprised and lost our clement undulation. Our legs became entangled in a panicked mess, and I fell. I could feel myself falling as if by partial choice, because in my mind, the delicate nuances of Lucy’s thin legs flashed across in visual images, I winced and my heart felt shot through at the accompanying thought that they might break. So, my body twisted instead, creating the horizontal angle that was needed to preserve her legs. No, I am no hero. It was not a planned procedure, just an instinctive readjustment to the interplay and interlocutions of natural and unnatural elemental landscapes. What did the couple with the yappy dog do? They laughed at me and Lucy. Yes, they just laughed out loud at us, and walked away.

And here is a poem explaining this proprioceptive quirk, from 2012.

i dance


i cannot


the ground

it is

too strange

i must count



one, two, three!

(dawn-joy leong 2012)


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