I heard a story once about a boy who never heard music. Not that he couldn’t- he just never had. Wherever he had lived was so remote and so cut off and I can only assume somber- music as we know it, was foreign to him. The story veers off into the occasion he has to go to America and EVERYTHING is music to him. The cars the people the trains the bustle the hustle and of course, the actual factual music. It turns out he has to return home after some time and there he is met with silence. The story bends down into his despair and bereft-ness of colour and light and joy and he cries out “ I wish to God I had never heard music only to have it ripped from my ears”
Apparently there’s a wise old dude everywhere, even in remote cut off somber places ( that’s likely where they manufacture them ) because a wise old dude points out that now that he’s learned what music is- can’t he hear it everywhere ? And of course he does! It wouldn’t be a story if the kid had said “ Go home old dude, you’re drunk” . Our hero gets quiet and listens- really listens and lo and behold , there’s music EVERYWHERE.
I’ve thought about that story off and on all throughout my life. Various times for various reasons. Once I even ripped it off when called on to quickly think of something to tell a group of sleepover kids so they’d go to sleep. I’ve thought about it philosophically and spiritually and dramatically- and I’ve thought about it personally. The whole “ I wish to God I had never heard/known/felt/seen/been/experienced insert great thing here ______________, only to have it taken away” Who hasn’t? ( those of you who haven’t , this isn’t the page you were looking for- beautiful lives .com is over a bit further) Who hasn’t had that moment of if I knew then what I know now- hindsight, that little monster, and it’s wacky ability to make you instantly wiser than you were whenever you didn’t have it.
What has the tone-deaf kid and hindsight got to do with my blogging tonight? Well I’m glad you asked internet- ‘cuz I’m finna tell ya. My story starts from the end of the story and continues on backwards til now- and don’t worry guys, old wise dude is still there. You all know the glory and majesty of my early childhood life- the love between my parents, the bliss of home and occasional home baked cookies, the mundane artistry of good parenting and poor remembering of my wrongs my parents deftly manoeuvred – it was a symphonic childhood of epically happy proportions. Enter silence. You’ve all read about some of that stuff too- the silent years. The really silent years and the wise old dude ( if I call my dad wise old dude one more time I’m likely going to hear about it) wise old dude trying to get me to hear the music all around and sing along. I’ve written about learning to hear the music again, in Yeshua, in grace, in friendship, in companionship and in life in general. It’s all around, the music is EVERYWHERE again. That’s the story of my tone-deaf life as told by me… but I tripped over something today while thinking of the melodies I hear lately ( I’m going to be a Mimi again in November and I’m just silly happy ) … the story wasn’t awe inspiring as I considered it this time- I just saw something I hadn’t before and it’s this one thing- one important thing the story lacked – and that was action.
Not car chases, not Hallmark movie crisis between the two poor too ignorant to love space cadets scenes. I’m thinking about how there’s really little to action in this. No action!!! There’s a passive waiting around for the truth to smack you in the face and the mysteries of life to meet you and the voice of God to cut through the clouds and make it so. But no one has to lift a finger to make it happen. And that bugs. It bugs in a “ people think making a baby is passive and you just sit and wait for a human to form and pop out” way. It isn’t passive. It isn’t still. It’s dynamic and active and just because you don’t see me fighting to hear the music doesn’t mean I’m not.
I wish I hadn’t known silence. I wish to God I didn’t know the feeling of having music stripped from you- because I feel it everywhere now. Every step back, step away, momentary pause is a slapped hand to someone like me who knows – like KNOWS silence. I wish I could be that kid in the story and been born in the silence- rather than born in the music. Man oh man. Let me tell you, silence is deafening when you’ve been surrounded by sound your whole life. I knew silence the years I was married. I’m so sensitive to silence now. Silence is good no? Like it’s supposed to be this mystical in the moment thing. It’s supposed to help you hear and help you be present and be in the whole deal- bull pucky. For those of us who have been aquatinted with real silence- the deadening of feeling and life and joy and colour and music!!!- that silence is scary. It’s alone. It’s empty and cut off. Give me noise any day. Give me kids active and a text conversation going and a movie in the background and a phone call in between. Give me action!!
That’s my side of the whole – didn’t hear music, now I hear music, then I didn’t hear music again story. That’s my story, that’s my song. It can be really difficult for someone trying to know me to grasp that I perceive silence that way. But I do. I read into it. Displeasure. Disappointment. Disapproval. I read rejection. I hear the Dear John letter in a quiet “ well.. I mean, I care about you…” I hear it and my heart closes. My heart turns around. My heart adjusts for the silence. It’s so hard to turn around from that, and all of a sudden I wish to God I had never heard music before.
So let’s bring this home.. to my house. To my son and what I’m feeling tonight. I wish to God I didn’t know what typical six year old behaviour was. I wish I didn’t know developmentally where six is. I wish I didn’t realize where Thaniel should be, could be. Because I DO NOT WANT TO CHANGE HIM. I don’t want him to be anything but the most incredible amazing little boy he is- but then I come up against the questions and the rejection and I am thrown- forcibly into the wall of silence. I don’t want him to be anything but in his moment with his love and heart and mind and all that is him- but also- I know. I know the music of a five or six year old finding language- I know the symphony of music that is reading, writing, articulation. I have heard it. I can’t I hear it. And I wish I could. I wish tonight that I could- because tonight I’m living and reliving both- my own slapped hand away from love- and his slapped hand away from understanding. What a miserable pair we make tonight as I covid 19 home teach my baby boy and he angrily glares at me.
We are cut off.
I understand cut off. I relate to him tonight in a more than real way. And look – it’s no ones fault . IT IS NO ONES FAULT. I get it!!! I do. You can’t feel what you don’t. You can’t be where you aren’t. You can’t teach and expect everyone will get it. Because they don’t.
There is an action that’s needed when you want to go from don’t get it to get it. You have to act. You can’t be passive. You can’t wait for the love, the understanding, the time, the explanation to just come. You cannot old wise dude your way through life and expect fairytale results. You can’t. I know you want to- so do I. Don’t think I don’t want my quads to come back simply because I remembered the feeling of front deadlifts. But they won’t- they can’t. I have to do the work. Thaniel has to do the work. Love has to do the work.
Love in the bible is no different. If you think this Passover/ Easter weekend that Jesus went passively to the cross. That he meekly bowed and went weakly to the cross- then you haven’t met Jesus. He gave permission. He had to be strong to hold back the hands of all of heaven and present himself willingly , purposefully to the cross. Love is an action so strong it transcends the grave! It’s jealousy, it acts, it hopes it believes it lays down it doesn’t give up it crawls out of death and snatched back from hell that which was sentenced there. If your Easter has a meek and mild Jesus just wussing out- or your Passover is an angel hiding soundlessly through the streets of egypt because something didn’t GIVE ITS WHOLE LIFE for the cause- you’ve got it wrong.
Powerful love. Life giving life saving love. Incidentally, that’s the love I have for Thaniel. That’s why we are going to go over tomorrow what we went over today until he sees it and gets it and lives and breathes it. Because love does not lay down unless it wants to. You didn’t ” fall” you aren’t without control or power- you are not. Whatever the enemy is telling you- listen… Love is a choice.
Music is a choice too. It’s everywhere. It’s in all the stuff. Today- because the whole thing was paid for. Dance. Dance even if you can’t dance. That’s all I gotta say about that.
Yeshua, I can’t even pray today- I’m so held down by the truth of the actions you took. So stopped by your strength – so shut up by your choice. You chose me. Every time. Even when others put me aside, away, apart. You don’t. Heal my unbelief Lord. Heal my fractured heart one more time. Heal the cracks where doubt gets in – but more than anything Y’eshua- build in me the strength of heart and conviction and fortitude and purpose that you carried all the way to the cross for me and mine and give me the chutzpah to walk it out! Make me the warrior you intended me to be. Help me war for Thaniel and all of my babies – and also.. For those who cannot see to make a choice, give them strength too. Tomorrow is your day- welcome us to it.