There is a pulse in our days, sometimes shallow and hard to locate, sometimes rapid and staccato, sometimes strong and steady and sometimes out of rhythm…arrhythmic. I reach for, am calmed by, the strong and steady rhythm, the sort of day that marches logically from waking to sleeping again. In that kind of steadiness I find it easier to accomplish stuff, or I imagine I would be able to based on the few days in life that are like that. Fortunately for us, I think, days come more varied than that, rather like movements in a symphony, altering tempo and style to create a long line of expression that engages the mind and imagination as much as the body and the senses.
Caleb uses a timer on his iPad to help him regulate his vocal tics (or we count on the timer on the iPad to moderate his vocal tics). It is one small tool, that works like a metronome to help us get through days (or seasons) of arrhythmia. It’s funny that we often don’t want to use it, don’t want to admit we need something to…
pace us and count time
’til we find the beat again
steadying our hearts
I remember learning to play the piano and working with a metronome, how much work it was to conform to the unrelenting rhythm of it — how it exposed my arrhythmia! I had to give in to it, let it lead, but it was hard work. The end result however was a much clearer (and easier) expression of whatever I was trying to master, amateur as my mastery ever was.
Summer ease might be found somewhere in this kind of effort. I would like it to be as easy as Norah Jones makes it sound in ‘Summertime, and the livin’ is easy..’ but it is much more like the hard work of learning to play the piece of music with ease: learn the notes, the phrases, conform to an inner rhythm and let the music rest on top of that (as Norah Jones demonstrates in the link above, a jazzy version of that familiar piece). The writer of the book of Hebrews puts it this way: “…make every effort to enter that rest..”(4:11) – a seeming contradiction, but wisdom nonetheless.
Is this the way we can finally hear the melody in all its beauty – and be able to add a little ‘adlib’ freedom, when it is laid down over a steady solid internal rhythm which, if we learn to hear, is always there to steady us?
© 2016 Laurel Archer
Feature picture credit – Pixabay.com; Above, Caleb racing along Spanish Banks Beach