Even in the Dark

What is your story?  Is it written already?  Let me ask you again - is it written already?  Dear God, I hope my story is less of a story and more of an-in-the-process-of-being-written song - give me some gushy lyrics and a couple good b-flat minor resolutions.  My ear is much like my perspective..

How do I write this and not make it sound like the most boring cliche analogy on the planet?

I am in search of the zing-er.  The unique.  The extraordinary.  The miracle.  I don't want to think or act, or react like everyone else.  It is remarkably boring. Personally, I have found if you do it the way its been done by everyone else, there is no room for anything to grow, or your heart to change or your life to improve, or to suddenly possess the capability to see any of the things I mentioned in my list above.  Those are the things I love about life. And my perspective is one of the things that consistently change my game.  I want the miracle.

My perspective and my heart are not always this way.  No, I did not say "were."  I said are.  It is opposed by its very nature...
I am relatively buoyant, but I fight my fair share of darkness.  And there are continuous clouds that hover. They are thick and dense and have the very unusual ability to hide all that is good.  You see, the darkness has this very easy allure to it, pulling you in, over and over again, just for a moment making you doubt and forget all the things that make you who you are, and worse, it covers over all the things that make you believe you are worth the miracle.

Yes, this is also my battle. One that I don't readily raise my hand to tell the world.  It's why I surround myself with inspirational quotes. They are reminders of the things I need to focus on, remember, look for, search for, strive for and be open to.  They remind me to breathe.

The truth is, the darkness is a lie.  Yes it whispers treachery and memories of things we love and hate - and preoccupies with glorious distraction.  But at its very core it hinders growth and love and healing and movement - that is why it is a lie.  However, the darkness is a part of all of us in whatever hurdle we face. Even the most lively bright and blazing life has its battle with the darkness.  So rather than pull a "Hey You've Got To Hide Your Love Away"  Stop hiding.  Refuse to believe the lie.  Be Courageous with your life... (inner pep talk dialogue... :)

A couple years ago I spent my Tuesday evenings in the company of about 30 or so kiddos.  60 pairs of eyes would be peeled on me and my accompanist for every bit of 90 minutes.  Talk about pressure.  This group of 4th through 9th graders who knew what was up.  Kids are amazingly honed in.  They know when you're making shit up.  They know when you're not sure.  They call your bluff. They know when you are pulling their chain.  They were my choir and I was their director.  I had to earn their trust.  I had to show them, that I not only cared about their voices, but I cared for them as ridiculously smart, fun, amazing human beings who were still figuring out where they fit in the world - just as they are. (Cough, cough - me figuring out my place in the world too.)

Often music exposes the soft underbellies of what we hide, not only in our heads, but it fights the darkness and reaches down into the depths of the heart.  Music, it so perfectly hones in the senses and the physicality of you becoming the instrument is incredible.  The voice, a piano, a guitar... a symphony, a choir has the ability to reach into the quietly tucked away human spirit.  The kids knew this.  They experienced it with each other.  They could recognize it in each other when it was really good.

One of our rules became "Be Courageous".  If the kids were singing and had their own part - if I couldn't hear them, if the audience couldn't hear them - the message - their gift - was lost.  Even if they weren't sure it was exactly right, the courage to sing was more important than to hide behind 29 other voices.  I could always hear the difference.  That one no longer quieted voice always made the difference.

So today, I give you my soft underbelly. The things I don't want to talk about.  I want to be buoyant and ablaze and strong and fearless and brave.  Of course I fall short.  But there is always the courage to look up, even in the dark and see the stars. It is my reminder - how can I keep from singing?  The story is still becoming.

And here is one of those that reminded me to wake up and tell a story - maybe part of mine - Blue Orchids, Sun Kil Moon

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