Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Playing It By Ear

I’m being called to peer into the saying “Playing It By Ear.” Words I’ve walked by, used casually and all of a sudden was stopped to acknowledge more deeply. Like a tree you’ve seen a million times and suddenly, maybe because of the angle of sunlight, notice it’s beauty. I'm reminded of the two times out of hundreds, that I was on one of my Betasso hikes. Near the start of the three-mile loop, no matter which direction you begin, are signs warning of Mountain Lions in the area. Well ninety-nine point eight percent of time I just walk by those signs without a thought, often to the point of not even noticing them. But two times the sign stopped me in my tracks, lit up and was trying to tell me something. I did take note, was extra watchful and both of those times found a fresh deer leg on the trail. This confirmed the mountain lion was about but also that he’d recently eaten, a slightly more comforting thought. But what forewarned me? Part of a subtler information system that informs us of critical data? Can it work for the mundane things as well? All things, in all times?

“Playing It by Ear” is generally referenced to musicians that can “accurately reproduce a melody one has heard without needing written music.” They don’t have to read, practice or study they just know it. I would imagine a desired quality for anyone musically inclined. I find myself using the saying, as many do, in the content of “I’m not sure now but will see how it feels in the moment.” I’ll listen to something inside of me and make the call when I have to. It acknowledges an inner voice, an inner knowing, that “I’ll know when I know” so I better not make a plan now. Some part of us knows all the information is not in yet to make that decision. This recognition of an inner listening, not unlike the musicians, is calling me, requiring I give it more than just a passing glance. Maybe it’s as simple as acknowledging it exists, tuning in a little closer to its whisperings. Just as the musician hears, trusts and translates what he hears into music, knowing exactly what to do, so maybe can I.

I’ve got to think that information system is always there. The ability to hear and trust what I hear is maybe what moves in and out like a melody that is sometimes clearer than other times. Maybe the more I develop an “ear” for listening, the more I'll hear and see the music in my life. I think I’ll play this one by ear...


1 comment:

A Week's Worth of Women said...

Mary, i love this, Patricia