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I read today about Dr. Levitin. He is studying how we respond emotionally to the music that we hear. He says something to the effect that we respond differently to music when we watch the musician as opposed to just hearing it, like on the radio.

I am NOT a musician. But I would give up a lot to become one.

(Not like hours of hard work and practice, mind you. I was thinking more like…cake. And, pickles. I would definately sacrifice pickles!)

Music is a language that can give form to emotions and shape to our thoughts that are beyond our reach with mere words. I am a word lover. I am a book junkie. But music is powerful and trans-lingual (um..is that a word?). I can fall into a song that I don’t know the words to and emerge changed.

There are times when I can feel it wash over me, caress me and disappear. There are times when it picks me up and carries me in its arms of love.

One of the most beautiful Scripture verses I have ever read says “He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”

We all need someone to sing over us.

(don’t know how to do this all purdy-like….but there it is.)

 

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somedays are just lemon..no “ade” and no sugar in sight.

Someone shared a teaching model with me recently that has had me re-thinking some of the patterns I have been living, and teaching, by. Here is the model:

I do and you watch.

I do and you help.

You do and I help.

You do and I watch.

A simple model, but like most things simple, very powerful.

As a (time-pressed) single parent I tend to skip from I do and you watch to you do and I watch…for a minute… and then I am going to go over here and do something else I think needs done. This leaves out a whole field of parent-child interaction. We have so many modern conveniences that are designed to save us time, but they also eliminate the need to SPEND that time working together. It doesn’t take two people to load up the dishwasher. And it doesn’t really take two people to wash dishes by hand. But some of the most engaging, and wisdom-imparting times I had with my grandmother took place while washing dishes together.

The same goes for yard work. It doesn’t take two people to weed the flower bed, but that could be time spent talking about a girl’s dreams for the future. Ten minutes at a time can build a solid foundation of trust and listening.

There are a number of reasons why I have not had the time or energy to focus on these “small” matters. But maybe now that I am more aware of them, I can begin to be more intentional about them. And trust that any foundation is better than none.

My dad was a quiet man. Not just in words, but in actions, in outlook. My dad was probably the little kid in the corner at school you hardly noticed. But believe me, he saw you. He not only saw you, he watched you. And if you came close to him, he listened to you.

My dad was a man who knew how to listen. He didn’t fill the world up with useless words. Wasted breath. You could spend time with my dad, and not feel like you had to fill the empty spaces with words, just to mark the time.

Lately, I have been trying to focus on the NOW, the HERE more. Because I can see that much of my life is speeding by, without my presence. My intentional, thought-filled presence. So I am trying to hang on to the now, and forget the past and quit staring down the future. Not an easy thing for me.

I am trying to pick up little bits of my daily life and hang on to them, look at them, treasure them.

My dad was good at that. Looking at the little things. Giving up the big things.

After my dad died, I was in his room, going through his stuff. Trying to hang onto his presence as long as possible. I came across a little box of this and that. Little treasures he had tucked away for himself. One of these was a little white envelope.

Do you want to know what was inside? Rocks. Little tiny rocks. Like what you would find in a young boy’s chubby little fist. Which is just where they came from. Many years ago, my dad had taken my (then) little boy to the park. To feed the fish. My son was fascinated with rocks. I can just see him picking each one up, excitedly showing it to his grandpa. And then asking his grandpa to hold it for him. To keep it safe. And my dad did. Whatever you gave to him was safe with him-rocks, words, silence. And at the end of the day, my dad came home with a pocket full of rocks. Rocks long forgotten by my son, but still in my dad’s sacred care. And my dad was faced with a decision. Toss them, knowing my son wouldn’t know (or even care at that point). Or keep them. Treasure them. As a reminder of a moment.

My dad kept them. Put them in an envelope marked, “Little Mikey-Rocks”. And put it in his own little treasure box.

Even though he isn’t here anymore, my dad is still an amazing example of some one who knew how to treasure the little moments.

Thank-you Dad, for a life lived well, moment by little moment.

 

It’s possible my last two posts may seem to be in opposition to one another. They are. Welcome to my head.

I look out my window, consider the moon.

Bright light in the distance, illuminates, invites

But doesn’t insist.

I could close my eyes and it wouldn’t exist.

The moon may seem silent,

But it has a voice.

I stare at its whiteness,

And I remember its source.

The source is the sun, white hot and exploding.

Its nature consuming.

The sun is insistent, relentless, pervading.

The moon is more humble, gentle, inviting.

It takes from the sun, and offers a portion.

The sun is brilliant but I cannot receive it fully without being consumed.

The moon invites us to drink just enough for today,

Just a taste of what lies beyond our vision.

 

The sky today is the most amazing, Barrier Reef blue. The clouds have all skittered to the edges of the horizon. I can see them peeking at me, elbowing each other (um yes, I know clouds don’t have elbows) and giggling. Just waiting for me to chase them and pull their sweet-nothing softness up to my cheek. But I am not chasing anything today. Today I am pulling sunlight and warmth into my bones and my soul. Letting it kiss all those skinned-knee places that Winter and snow leave in my spirit. Today… is a Good Day.

Less than a month ago, I wanted to turn on the heat at home. I DIDN’T, because, well I’m cheap like that. And now, the last few days have been in the 90’s. Spring flirted with us here, but was totaly afraid to commit and has moved on. She sent her country cousin, Summer, over to hang out with us, drink up all our lemonade and spit watermelon seeds all over the front porch. That’s ok. I don’t mind. But if I had known she was coming to join us…I maybe would have cleaned up a little.

Um, wait. I only clean the house for the people who I don’t want hanging around very long…  😉

so, now that i’m here, what do i say? here in the bright light of a new page, my thoughts have scattered into corners and into dark cracks in  my mind. and im left standing here in the middle of this blinding light, empty and wanting. Words with no form and no way to escape from my head.

What I’m reading:

an ancient love letter

What I’m listening to:

my heart

What I’m thinking about:

changing my perspective.