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Monday, August 8, 2011

Back to Middle C

One of the most significant life lessons I have learned was learned in piano lessons.  A couple weeks ago Mike asked if I would teach him how to play the piano.  Because he does play guitar and drums, not at the same time, I know that he has an ear for music and that rhythm is nearly second nature for him.  This is a good foundation for a beginning piano student.  First of all it is good because he can hear when things are going bad, and he knows that playing notes without any sense of meter is just playing notes.  But when you sit down to a piano the first time and you see 88 keys it is overwhelming.  How can a person possibly know when to use which key?  Middle C.  We start with middle C and everything above it and below it begins to make sense, slowly make sense.  If you’ve ever sat down to play and started on the wrong note, you understand how being one key off can quickly humble you.  So you take your hands off the keys and you refocus and go back to the middle to find your foundation.  Eventually you know it, you feel it and your hands just flow to and from, in and around middle C.  It’s like a gravitational pull to keep you centered and ready to play the next piece.

In life we need a center; a person, place or thing that helps to keep us focused.  Every morning Mike goes out for a run.  It doesn’t matter if it is raining, sleeting, snowing or hailing, he runs every day.  Oh that the postal service could be this reliable. (that was a random thought) He runs without music so that he can hear the thoughts that need to be sorted in his mind each morning before he goes to work.  It is this time that brings him back to his center, the part of his soul that makes him who he is.  I am thankful for this because I love who he is and I wouldn’t want to interfere with this process.  My center is different.  When I am feeling lost or overwhelmed, I pray with the piano.  I sit at the piano, close my eyes, and just play.  My emotions create the melody and the intensity varies as I work through whatever it is that has inched me away from my center.  My center is a quiet place; a place where I meet the God of my understanding.  I need that place, I crave that place and sometimes when I sit down to play the tears come.  The distance from the center closes and soon I find myself back at my middle C, and it’s then that I am refueled for the next season.

I hope that as you read this that you too have identified what it is that centers you, that keeps you grounded when life’s hectic pace is bearing down on you.  I hope you have that center. If you feel you’ve lost your way, know that there is a center, a quiet center in the middle of you.  In that center may you find a peace that brings you back so that you too will be ready to face another day.

To those who stopped by to read this entry, may you know that I write because I want to offer hope to the hopeless and to encourage others to go and do likewise.

Thanks for stopping by,

Amy Lynn Michael

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