I’m a big fan of the 8-hour of sleep club. But like many here at this Orff retreat, it has been a 5-6 hour a night time. How do we do it? Where is our energy coming from? What is fueling us through the long and intense days? Well, the punch line is in the title—we’re running on love.
Love for music and love for dance. Love for the creative spark lit in each class. Love for risk and daring and going to the edge of possibility. Love for the safety net of a circle of fellow adventurers. Love for a profession that brings us little money and prestige, but great pleasure when the kids shout, “Can we do it again?” Love for a moment of stillness gazing up at the country moon while the drums sound in the distance.
Not that it’s all love and joy 24/7. The intensity of the two weeks takes its toll and demands its price. I keep making it sound so simple that all we need to do to heal ourselves and the world is sing and dance and play together day in, day out— and far into the night as well. But give the group a half an hour to prepare a performance and ask for their thoughts and the conflicting ideas come out and sometimes butt heads and stress and tension join the party even when the stakes are low and we all know what that leads to. The little things that will unfailingly annoy us about others are magnified and though people cheer when I jokingly say, “We’ve decided to extend the course one more week!”, most of us are ready for a break, eager to get home or escape for one last week of summer at the beach and arise with no scheduled class, a few intimate friends or family members, some needed solitude and a good book or leisurely walk.
And most importantly, 8 hours of sleep.