Thursday, December 22, 2016

In the Middle of a Phrase

Sally Nava, our beautiful middle child, teaches music to young children and the adults who love them. A couple of days ago she taught some holiday classes to her families, and I got be a part of them, singing along and reading the Night Before Christmas.

One activity she taught was a simple line dance to a Christmas carol. She changed her mind about which song to use, and that meant that the "turn one quarter and face a new direction" happened in the middle of a phrase. Which is exactly what I need to practice!

Rarely do all my ducks line up before an event. Rarely does every detail fall into place. My check list always has blank boxes, including sometimes failing to make a check list. Rarely, rarely, rarely am I able to meditate without the tugging and pulling of rogue thoughts sneaking into my space. So I thought, when I was dancing with Sally's class, that it is really quite wonderful to learn early on that freedom comes with flexibility. That I can't wait for the next musical phrase when it's time to begin a new dance phrase. You turn one quarter and go!

Christmas comes to those of us who celebrate it, whether or not the preparations have been completed. Parents with young children know that better than anyone. Except maybe pastors and church musicians. Christmas comes and somehow we arrive at the day, take a deep breath of family love or friend companionship or travel wonder, and all the lists fall away.

There is great freedom in being able to sit with the chaos and meditate in the vortex. There is great freedom in feeling absolute whimsy at moving to the right four steps in the last quarter of musical phrase. Try it. Try beginning your Silent Night vocals on the second beat. I dare you. You'll laugh and start over, guaranteed.

We're in the middle of a phrase, Bob and I. We'll be putting our house back on the market soon. It's tricky to wait and see where we want to live next. While we're still in the middle of this house. I want to know, know, know so I can be ready to turn one quarter and face a new direction. Being patient with the phrasing isn't natural. I'm convinced that impatience is basic human default thinking. But then, so are a lot of other things I spend my life working to overcome. So we'll just keep turning one quarter and stepping out.

Wishing you all joyous Holidays. I'll see you on the dance floor.

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