Sunday, May 26, 2019

Threading the Thread

Training for the Marathon. Practicing for the concert. Tending a garden. These kinds of things weave a thread between the days, connect the passing of time, stave off the chaos of randomness with meaning and purpose. We could all do with some of that.

The “holding the thread” poem I shared several posts ago is about a lifetime commitment to your own way of seeing the world, your own inborn sense of what you can do and what you can express that no one else quite can in the same way. But we also must weave the thread, day by day, week by week, year by year, as we walk through the grand tapestry of life. 

And this isn’t easy. Always tempting to go from one sensation to the next, get thrown off-track by the 1001 distractions now given extra strength from machines and electrons. To find ourselves just passing time, killing time, getting through rather than co-creating each moment of time’s passing. Not to say we don’t deserve some time out on the couch watching TV. But even here, the things that satisfy most these days are the threaded Mini-series. More than the half-hour sitcom or the two-hour movie, the six to ten seasons of connected plot put us into an imaginative life not our own, but still resonant with the satisfaction of the thread. 

Teaching, of course, is an automatic thread. Especially if, like me, you’re a music teacher who works with the same kids over an 11-year period. That’s quite a project, witnessing the evolution of skills and understanding, noting the core unchangeable character of each child’s own thread, being surprised by the little twists and turns in the tapestry. But teaching class after class, we don’t always feel the pleasure of the connection. Especially now in the last weeks of school, when the concerts are done and everyone is thirsting for summer. A good time to just play and that’s fine, but it’s a bit like time out with TV.

All of this come to the surface because after a two-month absence, I dove back into writing my almost-done-but-not-quite book that I started in the Fall and immediately felt the difference between that and just writing these blogposts or checking e-mail. The engine of thought is turned on and whether walking, biking, sleeping, the needed words are appearing as gifts. Gifts to be immediately set down before they fly away.

Meanwhile, for the dwindling number actually reading these posts, I hope at least a few serve more as reminders than distractions, invitations to remember and renew your own work with your unique thread. The world is waiting.

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