Sunday, January 2, 2011

This Too Shall Pass

Souls Entwined

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.


  1. Beautiful, and encouraging. I know what that resistance feels like, so well, and am glad that you were able to move through it. I think you've inspired me!: Time for a little before-bed practice. ;-)

  2. shared this one all over the place, Patrick. Love it. Glad you found your way home and out of the dumps.

    Earlier last year, I was surprised to find out that when we are "tired" we aren't always in need of a nap or a rest. Sometimes, we are in need of doing something meaningful.

  3. Jen, I'm glad this inspired you to practice. Would love to know how it went.

    Kathy, that's interesting that when "tired we may be in need of doing something meaningful." Certainly I've had many experiences of being energized by practice, writing, or many other creative endeavors. Will look at this more as a possible "right action" in the future.

    Many thanks to both of you.

  4. Your need for music, your need to hold your six-stringed friend close to your heart seems primal. Pema Chodron says something like "within each of us is the primordial goodness, primordial beauty, primordial wisdom." You are so fortunate to have a physical instrument that unfailingly lifts your spirit to its true self. And to our great benefit also!