When I practice the cello, I never try to recover what I did best the day before. Instead I let all those remembered sounds and sensations float around in my head until they come clear again.
In letting go of even my most spectacular achievements, I’m obeying a greater natural law than the law of good performance. That law is forward motion.
Floating free of all expectation and effort, I release myself to travel ahead. Better ideas and easier playing await me, so I end up recovering my best from previous practicing, then moving beyond it.
Probably the success of “moving beyond” in my own work is what helped me the most when Annette let go of half-finished projects, never to return to them. She too was moving beyond, and I knew that this fluid state was more important to her creativity than any one achievement.