Saturday, July 11, 2009

A little elbow grease goes a long way.

(Pre-Script: The layers of this post run deep as you read it while the song "A Thousand Winters Melting," #16 on the playlist, plays in the background, so go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

This is how we touch each other.
We touch each other by being in the world and bumping elbows with the elbow beside us. We do this while singing, sometimes audibly, sometimes not. Sometimes the song is felt or seen or tasted, but the song is our own, and the singing cannot be helped, though some will try to stifle it.
We do it by painting pictures and holding them up where everyone can see, if they choose to look...they might not look. Even if they do, what they see and understand might and probably will be very different from what you see and understand. But that's okay; you are the one holding the picture.

When I was a child, I used to say that I wanted to be an archaeologist when I grew up because of my fascination with ancient things which I have tried to explain before, but can never fully explain, and I get frustrated trying, so this time I am not even going to try to explain it, and I now feel better having not tried to explain the unexplainable.


You have this in yourself, too, deep passions that flow through your muscles, your brains, that pump like blood through your heart and your mind over and over. Whatever they are, you can't convince someone else to love the same thing, or even to see it how you see it. How can they, when they have not had the same experience as you, they are not experiencing the passion you are passionate about with the same life experience behind their eyes and ears, the same emotional complexity that is you. So even if the other person develops the same life dreams and passions as you, s/he has arrived there through his or her own unique set of circumstances, after the stimulus has filtered through his or her own inner complexities. The other person might not even be looking at it from the same side of his or her brain as you.
Do you think any of the other 5th grade kids in my class shared my archaeological passion with me? Not a one. In fact, I did not find anyone who shared this particular passion until 2 years ago. She came in the form of a sister in law. Hooray for Sara, my first archaeological passion match! She loved watching the same documentaries of unearthed tombs that I loved watching as a child, as well. So there is that. But I would still bet you $37.50 that if we were archaeologists in the field, we would have different styles, we would find ways that we were different in our focus. So there is that, too. And I respect that about me, and about her.

I guess the point is you just play your song all the way through, the way you need to play it the truest, and don't let the hard of head and heart convince you to shut up or try to be just like someone else, since only you can play your own song. Some people will listen and get it, some will sort of get it, some will think they get it but won't. Some will be able to point out nuances in the music that you did not consciously percieve. The "not getting it completely" is good, too, because it's stimulating and intriguing to let the mystery between two people flow. Really, most people just hear your song and go,
"Oh, a song!"
As you continue to sing your song, those around you are encouraged to fully sing theirs, in whatever form they take, as well. Then there is harmony and counter points that never existed before in the world, and everything is deepened and expanded.
This beauty is often messy.
This is how we touch each other.
...Your elbows are showing.


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