Tag Archive | living large

Getting in tune

Patty playing again

A couple of years ago, I was given an old cello and hoped to learn how to play. After investing about $1500.00 to repair it, I started taking lessons. I loved the sound, look, and feel of the cello, but became discouraged by my slow progress, and after months of practice, my right hand was cramping painfully as I tried to hold the bow correctly, so put it away. It has been sitting in its case upstairs for months. On Sunday, Jack and I were talking about musical instruments and how they needed to be played, how my teacher had said that the more I played, the better the cello would sound too. I imagined that every time I drew the bow across the strings, and the body of the cello vibrated, it was coming more to life. I’d been feeling guilty that it was just sitting unused. I felt it needed to be played. I don’t want to pack away precious things in my life. I want them to be used and appreciated and loved and eventually used up.

Yesterday morning, for some reason, the song by The Who, “Getting In Tune”, came into my head, I found it on You Tube and started blasting it through the house. I saw The Who live when I was a teenager, and although I remember very little about the concert, I always loved this song. As the song was playing, the phone rang. It was our friend Patty (Wonder’s owner). She had been talking with another friend of ours about, of all things, cellos, and Ashley told her that I played too.

Patty called to ask the name of my teacher, because she was considering buying a used cello that afternoon, to start playing again after a 30 year hiatus. I asked her if she would like to borrow mine and she didn’t hesitate for a second. Within 15 minutes she was walking through our front door, had the cello out of the case, and she was tuning it up.

“This is the true joy in life – being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy”.  George Bernard Shaw

Below is the link to The Who’s song, “Getting In Tune”

YE HA to Life!

YE HA indeed!

I was driving into the post office, here in Cambridge NY, yesterday and a car pulled in right before me with the license plate, “YE HA”. I was so curious to see who would get out of this car; who would have chosen such a great affirmation of life to drive around with. How can you not smile when seeing those words in front of you?

I pulled up next to the car, and as the driver was getting out I said, “I love your license plate!” The woman smiled and started into the post office, but I had to find out more so I asked her why she picked those words for her plate. She said, “I have loved horses all of my life.” It turns out that Shirley had just put down her last horse because at 30, he had had a stroke. It was clearly still emotional for her. When I asked her if she would get another horse she said with this little grin, “Well……”  I could tell that she would, could tell that horses were as much a part of her life as cats are mine.

But really, what is the alternative? Live without the beings that give us so much pleasure because we are afraid of future pain? That is not living fully. I read this great quote (could not find the author) the other day which said, It is a fearful thing to love what death can touch.”  Isn’t that the truth?!

So many people keep their lives small, don’t dare to dream big, because they don’t want to be hurt or disappointed in the future. That way of thinking does not ensure anything but a small, colorless life. The time to live is now. The time to love is now! I think we can still shout “Ye Ha to Life!…even with a few tears running down our cheeks.

Not good enough?

I saw this little wooden box a few months ago, at a second-hand store. It looked just like a friend of mine’s dog so I bought it, feeling almost giggly at my purchase…couldn’t wait to give it to her. As the days passed, when I looked at it, I found myself thinking, “What if she doesn’t like it? What if she thinks it is kind of dumb and now doesn’t know what to do with it? What if it becomes a sort of burden because she won’t want to give it away, if she doesn’t like it, for fear when I visit, I won’t see it?” I put it away in the cupboard by my desk.

The other day, I took it out and put it on my desk. It is totally useless…or is it? At one time, it made me smile…until I started thinking that it wasn’t “good enough”. It reminded me so much of life…of the unique gifts that we all have and how sometimes we hide these for fear that they are “nothing”, not good enough, saying things to ourselves like, who would want “it” anyway?

I don’t know if my friend will like this little box or not. What I do know is that I love buying little gifts and giving them….it is a part of who I am and of what makes life feel full and rich to me. So, what do you and I have that we have been hiding? What talent, ability, perspective or personal quality that feels too unusual, or too insignificant, to be wanted by the world?

Maybe we should name today, April 5th, National Coming Out of the Cupboard Day…sing that song to someone, apply for the job that you really want, ask that guy out, bake that special dish and invite someone over to share it, smile at someone even if they have never smiled back, give that little box to your friend …