Archive for the ‘Down Time’ Category

Sunday, June 28, 2009

My Life Is Not Twitteriffic

Originally Written on Wednesday, June 24, 2009 (1:13am)
My Life Is Not Twitteriffic…

Yes, I have a twitter account. I actually check it every few days to see what my friends are doing. Normally I sit there trying to think of something to write in 140 letters or less, or however many they give you to make a definitive statement about your life. Normally the best I can come up with is “gee, nope… I still got nothin'” Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t have plenty of things going on that are meaningful to me. (Although about 90% of what some of my friends post I would file under T.M.I. I don’t really need to know about when they get their nails done… or in the case of some of the guys… the details of their bowel movements. It’s like we’ve all reverted to being back in summer camp.)
I do think it’s interesting though that there’s some kind of built in desire in most of us for connection, even if it’s just quickly touching base. Twitter is great for that. Sometimes these wonderful little gems slip by just when I get a chance to look. Tonight one of my friends was writing a mutual friend there she had this great quote for her: “The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.”That quote from Khalil Gibran was just what I needed to read at that moment.

Normally the real stuff my life is made of just doesn’t work on Twitter. A lot of the stuff I look at as really eventful has to do with relationships. They are quiet moments that don’t condense well. Twitter is great for action stuff… “I’m going here… I’m doing this… I ate this… I just saw… etc.” All those things can be fun for me to read. The truth is that I spend about 12 -14 hours a day in my teaching studio with a steady stream of people coming in and out every half hour. All of them are these amazing, unique individuals that I get to interact with. Part of what happens here is that I teach them how to play an instrument. The greater thing that happens here is that we effect each other’s lives.

For some reason, many times people start lessons with me at major turning points. They are looking for something that will be fun and entertaining and will help take away some of their stress and help them focus on something else for awhile. Some of them show up when an important relationship has just ended. Others come because they are care givers to someone who is very ill and they need a break. The teenagers I teach normally just want to have fun playing music. Still they always have the daily stresses of trying to navigate a world that isn’t always friendly to them, while they are trying to figure out who they are. I love watching them grow. There are always so many stories.

Sometimes life gets over whelming to me. My work schedule is brutal and I just get exhausted. But I love my students. I love who they are. I love their stories. I love getting a ring side seat to watch their lives unfold. A couple of things happened recently right when I was doubting my sanity at choosing my current profession. Neither makes good twitter material but both were wonderful in their own way.

I got a phone call from one of my old students wanting to come back and do a few more lessons. She left a message on my answering machine. She said “I don’t’ really remember that much about the guitar part of our lessons, but I do remember that you helped get me through a really dark season in my life and I’m doing a lot better now.” It’s easy in the midst of the tiredness to forget that how we interact with each other can be life changing. (It also turns out she remembered a lot more guitar than she gave herself credit for too.)

The other incident involved another one of my old students. When we met, she had  ended a  relationship with someone she loved, but who wasn’t good for her ultimately. She was questioning if she would find someone else she would be really compatible with. As time went by she did meet someone and fall in love. They were married and after experiencing the heartbreak of miscarriage had a healthy baby boy. She’s had an amazing journey. We were having lunch together. She was holding her son, who’s just getting strong enough to hold himself up. His back was leaning against her. In the middle of our conversation he reached over incredibly tenderly and put his hand on her cheek and put his head next to hers. At that point we both got teary eyed. I could tell that for both of us that one gesture on his part summed up her life journey. I’m so thankful to have the chance to be there to witness it. Such is my life. But for twitter… “nope… still got nothin.”

January 7, 2008

The Flip Side of the Coin…
(Or How I Spent My Christmas Vacation)
I had two weeks off in a row for the first time since then. And, while I did spend the first week feeling pretty sick and horrible, it was still nice to just have time to rest and recuperate in peace. I had a chance to just sit and read for long periods of time. I got to work on learning to run my new multi-track recorder. I had a chance to input the music/lyrics and chords for about 30 new songs into the computer, which is very time consuming but wonderful to have. I got a chance to just hang out and goof off with my husband. We had a nice, peaceful, calm Christmas, which was a wonderful thing. The second week I felt better and I got to see some friends that I have been missing, and have some great meals with them.

Nancy and I got a chance to record and work on music, which has been good for my soul. I got a chance to just go outside and breathe the air and stare blankly. We also got a chance to go feed the geese (more about being the goose whisper in another blog) and enjoy nature. Those things might not seem like a big deal… but they were very precious gifts to me. Given the new year, it’s probably good I got a chance to rest up some.

I also got a chance to read A Widening Light, a poetry anthology put together by Luci Shaw of wonderful contemporary poets writing on the Life of Christ. I think that, mixed with all the good and bad Christmas memories brought back for me just how thankful I am for God’s mercy and redemption in a real way. Some of us have been reading through the Bible this year together… and this verse from Matthew 4:17 in “The Message” version jumped out at me…
“People sitting out their lives in the dark saw a huge light;
Sitting in that dark, dark country of death,
they watched the sun come up.”

It’s late and I’m way too tired right now to adequately describe just how much that is my story. When I was young I lived in the middle of horrible darkness. Even then I knew that there had to be a better life for me. Hopefully one of these days I’ll find the words to explain. But I was reminded again how thankful I am to be alive and to know the mercy of God… even in the midst of breaking, dripping things. I know I’ll get through the other stuff. I’m thankful I have some help along the way.

Anyone who knows me knows I don’t get much down time. As a matter of fact, the last time I had any time off without someone dying, Ken and/or I being sick, or some major natural disaster/crisis was about ten years ago.