Sunday, January 2, 2011
This Too Shall Pass
I had a friend, Willie C., who had a humorous way of bringing home this truth to me. Willie would say " Now I'm no Bible thumper, but every now and then I read the good book. I've never seen it say 'that it came to stay,' it always says that 'It came to pass.'" As I type this I can still hear him stretching the "Iiii'vvvvvve" with his particular twang. Smiling now, as I did then when he would intone his wisdom for me.
I'm still tired from the intensity of my professional life, the major food holidays behind me fortunately. Now for some end of year paperwork, and an annual inspection that we all dread. After spending a couple hours bringing order to our home today I took a nap. I woke but did not want to get out of bed. Generally this is not good for me as my thinking tends to drift to the negative when I do this. Today was no exception, and even with working with following my breath, I moved into a funk. I knew I needed sometime with my guitar, and at the same time had no energy for this.
I took a hot shower and then invoked my two times to practice rule - when I want to and when I don't want to. Into the basement, smiling as I opened the case revealing my six string friend. Within ten minutes my mood was shifting, after 15 minutes I wondered why I would ever not want to play. Just simple the act of picking up my guitar is so healing. Yet when my resistance flowers, only my commitment can pull me through.
What is it about notes, melodies, harmonies, sound that can change our mood? How does music lift our spirits to the greater aspects of life? What neuronal pathways are charged when I play fast? What emotions calmed when I play slow? There are scientific studies out there that may answer these questions. My own experiences have shown me that I need music in my life, and so I practice once again.