In Praise of Rhythm {my life as a band nerd}

Confession time. I was a band nerd. A real, authentic band nerd. Flute was my instrument of choice and I have to say, I did ok.

But my true love was always the percussion section. Or more to the point, the percussion players. Truth is, there wasn’t a school year went by that I didn’t have a crush on some cute drummer, usually with flowing long hair and a “I’m too cool for any other instrument” attitude to match the part.

But nothing got my little teenage heart pitter-pattering more than a good drum cadence. There was just something about rhythm!

I love rhythm. Beat, cadence, dance, pulse. Poetry, timing, cycle. Life needs rhythm. I need rhythm.

Rhythm is natural. Discipline is not.

The world was made and functions in beautiful rhythm. Day to night, day becomes night. Summer to winter and back again.  My death, new life, deep death, my life.

Waves in, out, in, back out.  Rain falls, rises and falls again. Hours cycle. Strength in the morning, rest in the night, return of strength with the new day. Lovingkindness in the daytime, songs in the night.

Inspiration, ambition, strain, reassessment, new inspiration, renewed ambition.

Cycles and pulse let my heart breathe. Let me be where I am, when I am.

The regimen of self discipline, without the life giving timing and grace for this moment in the dance, kills my soul. It stifles me until I can’t breathe. Until I strain under the should-have, would-have, regret.

I am simply too weak for discipline. Instead I’m learning to lead my life in rhythm, each day different, flowing one to the another. Each part of a greater. Without guilt I look to the macro and the micro songs all around me.

Without rhythm, there is not syncopation.

Yesterday was Labor Day and boy, was I glad for a 3 day weekend! Riverside Arts Market, Family Cookout, Day at the Zoo, even Cleaning the Garage – it was a full and fun weekend.

But then today came. My weekly routine had been broken. Groceries were not bought. Laundry is not done. Client projects were not ready. Family crisis was not resolved. The cycle of my weekly schedule was broken and now I’m paying the price. (sigh)

Or maybe there’s another way to look at it. Maybe this weekend was an extra beat in an ongoing rhythm. Maybe it’s the variation that gives life to the cycle that happens week in and week out. This variety makes us feel alive. We’re not living for the weekend. Instead the weekend gives the week it’s life – the strength for the next strand of the beat. And the week, the routine, the in and out, up and down, make the special days that much more special!

 Tiramisu-kaastaart de la casa

Good rhythm has layers.

(So does tiramisu. Best. Dessert. Ever.)

Take your favorite song. Or better yet, pick a classic song, one that has stood the test of time. Listen to it. Now again. Do you hear that? There is more than one strain to follow, more than one rhythm to appreciate. Songs, the really good ones anyway, have layers in them. As does life.

There’s what’s obviously going. Then there’s what’s really going on.

Marriage has made that apparent. There is what we’re fighting about – “You left the cabinet open again!” And there is what we’re really fighting about. “I want this house to be done – I’m tired of working on it.”

There is hope for today. I’m going to get through deadline. Tonight will be different. Micro-rhythm.

Then there is hope for the future. Something great is coming, it’s ahead of me and today makes sense knowing it’s coming. Macro-rhythm.

Develop an ear for the rhythm of your life. Do you like what you hear?

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2 thoughts on “In Praise of Rhythm {my life as a band nerd}”

  1. I’ve been meaning to say that since I first read your post … I love music, you know me and that post reminded me of the movie August Rush whose soundtrack I just love. In one of the songs, it says, “The music is all around us, all you have to do is listen”. So true ! Even though I usually have my earplugs when in the bus or the subway, I find myself listening to the sounds around me and it true, there is a certain rhythm to them. And writing that, a thought just popped through my head … God is also all around me, all I have to do is listen …


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