09 May 2006


Yesterday, at the conclusion of a weekend of studying and fasting in preparation, I had a good session with that Joseph I'm so fond of. I didn't rush home afterward; I needed some buffer time. I fed the Jamestown ducks with a friend who was coming out of the clinic at the same time I was, then I took a detour to the library to satisfy a hankering to listen to some Tom Waits. Lo and behold, scads of his discs! Some wonderful person in the audio-visual department has really filled in the collection, bless 'im. I checked out an embarassing number of cds but nobody tried to stop me, so . . . happy day. Next I took another detour and had a slow, solo lunch at Yamato--seaweed salad and okonomiyaki, my favorites. It's a quiet place anyway, and it was well past the lunch hour, so I was able to use the time meditatively. It turned out to be a real grace period, in the very truest sense. It was one of those rare times when I can actually feel my heart completely receive some truth that my head's been lonesomely holding onto for ages. I was surprised by the peace of it all and happy that the peace has every intention of travelling with me now.

As if that wasn't lovely enough, this morning I've been playing some of the music I brought home from the library--not the Tom Waits, but three discs from a jazz group I was unfamiliar with. These caught my eye as I flipped through the racks and something whispered to me that I was looking at true love in plastic sleeves. Let me tell you that THEY. ARE. FABULOUS. I found Kronos Quartet in a similar way a few years ago, while shuffling through strange library collections, and adored them too. I've shot photos to illustrate their music, that's how great they are for me. But Tin Hat Trio even beats Kronos. What a gift. Maybe it sounds silly, but this is just another avenue for grace to my way of thinking. There's an incredible refreshment that comes to me from this music. How often doees that happen anymore? Sure, I often hear music I like, some I might dance to and some that helps me relax, but I don't hear much new stuff that genuinely feeds me. I think my soul itself must be made of little bits of odd instruments, shaves of weird rhythms, and combinations of cacaphony and pretty sounds, because these tracks sure resonate.

It's just amazing to me sometimes how everything--books, thoughts, prayers, interactions, experiences, meditations, food, songs--seems to come together . . . just to lift me. Why not? I believe that can happen to anyone, and that it's real when it does.


Jamie said...

I believe it happens, too. And I believe it will happen more often if we notice and appreciate grace periods when they come. I am working hard on the "Be Still" part--it's always been hard for me, but eversomuch more now that I have the clatter and crash of little kids all day, everyday. I am so glad for prayer because if nothing else, it is a few moments of quiet and time to really survey the day and all the moments of grace that could otherwise slip away.

Johanna said...

geo--just went and listened to sound clips while nursing; tin hat trio stopped and held scout mid-suck. maybe shes made of some of the same stuff.

J'oga said...

it absolutely can happen, and it's beautiful when it does.

I'm glad that you could find music that matches your inner-workings. that's the best feeling in the world for me.

hey, if scout enjoyed it, it must be good.

AzĂșcar said...

I get the same way while painting, or other such similar creative task. My conscious mind must submit to the unconscious.

That sub- takes over, doing the rote task or creation we've done a million times (frost a cake) and suddenly my conscious is skipping over thoughts and bubbles of possibilities.

Sometimes I even get that way doing the dishes.

Geo said...

james: I agree with you completely. In church on Sunday I got a thought in my head: "You need to practice listening." It struck me in the sense that I ought to try focusing on one thing at a time, and putting my energy into that one idea, need, or supplication, and then simply waiting on the Lord for His reply. I already do listen, but I'm often in a whirl and it's hard to focus. I think too much, too many, too hard. This suggestion to listen in this new way came at a good time, and I feel ready for it. I've been half-crazy lately to simplify my life. I want to throw everything away and paint my walls white. My energy won't support my would-be over-the-topness, which is likely a good thing as I might soon regret such austerity, but it is an appealing fantasy. I need space, you know? Space for peace and quiet and concentration.

joh: Thanks for telling me that. It's nice to think that perhaps I've already startled my brand-new niece and haven't even met her yet. We've got a connection!

j'oga: You, perhaps more than anyone else I know, understand how it feels when music resonates and fills. And yeah, I think Scout has excellent taste as well; I mean, look at the family in which she chose to land herself.

carina: It's a great thing that the body can be switched over to auto-pilot while the mind explores. I love that feeling. You paint? As in pictures or walls? (Either is impressive to me.) How do you feel about white walls in an empty room, with no straightjackets in sight?

Bluebell said...

You are a fabulous writer, Geo.

compulsive writer said...

Loved your post.

Loved the music.

Loved the inspiring comments.

Just what I needed today.


Becca said...

lovin' it and lovin' you.

~j. said...

"It was one of those rare times when I can actually feel my heart completely receive some truth that my head's been lonesomely holding onto for ages."

That was so lovely, Geo.

Thanks for sharing that.

Geo said...

Gosh, thanks, goils! : )