Dee's Blog
Thu 07/31/2008
No Longer Blind
Topic: music

Yesterday afternoon I taught a second-grade boy to play "Amazing Grace."  Not in the way he had it in his head exactly, from growing up hearing it at church.  For often, with familiar tunes, we've heard them butchered in everyday life to the point that we memorize slightly impaired rhythms.  This hymn, like so many songs, only comes alive, musically, when the musician looks at the music on paper and really studies it.  For those of you who are musicians, you'll understand why I told Adam that I want to hear those "nice, crisp eighth notes."  In just a few minutes, we were both smiling at the beauty produced by this little child.

If we are half asleep--and that's what religion often does when it teaches us to "trust" what we "know" without questioning--we automatically assume that people who act inappropriately or say inappropriate things, yet wear a title (or a collar), deserve our awe and respect automatically.

In a world where children do not stay close to the home fires for as long as they did in previous generations, they must learn very early the lessons of not trusting automatically.  I wish it were as easy as it is with piano, to know that we have succeeded in teaching them all of the important rules.  So they can enjoy the music of life with the confidence that they are precisely making the right decisions, at just the right time.

Music is complicated, when analyzed.  So is life, though the latter is a lot trickier and filled with more dangers than messing up the music.  We don't want to over-analyze either music nor life, however--even when we feel that our failure to do so at some point has taken us to places, psychologically and spiritually, that we did not intend to go. 

Perhaps the trick is learning that it's okay to sometimes risk going places we did not intend to be.  While forgiving ourselves for the "wrong notes" we've played.  After all, isn't that where little children often learn best? 

Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 12:01 AM CDT

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