|One of the most advanced piano pieces I ever learned. And since my piano is all gussied up for Fall---yes I am one of those decorate-in-August-for Fall people (courtesy of Shipton this time)---I had to include a zoom out shot. :)|
I began piano lessons at age 5. Although those first few years weren't exactly productive, within a decade I had fallen in love with the great composers such a Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, and Chopin. Oh, Chopin! It was as if my fingers could speak echoing the moments of joy, intensity, melancholy, or excitement.
And now over 25 years later, these exhilarating moments of release and expression still make me feel all lit up inside. I didn't start voice lessons until the age of 14, but finding my voice has brought the same feelings. Words cannot express the electric moment of utilizing my entire soprano range with a full orchestra behind me (a treasured experience that I have been privileged with only a few times). I am all lit up in these moments as well. Heart pounding, feeling so alive and invigorated!
As I sat down to play for a few minutes tonight, my thoughts turned to tender mercies from my youth. In addition to good music that came as a form of release and expression, I also learned early about good books. Not only is every page a journey of exploring the world, but also seeing it through another's eye. I believe reading began my budding gift of compassion and empathy---to see as another sees. By the time I was in Jr. High, I had read all of "The Great Classics" in that section of our middle school library. Just like with music, it was a form of processing and an escape from the daily grind of living in a fallen world. Just like a decade and a half ago, I am always in the middle of a good book (or usually two or even three). Now it isn't with fictional novels any more, but I still make time to read, even for a few minutes every day because it makes me feel all lit up. It gives me the chance to ponder, to think, to expand my mind and my understanding of the world, others, and the eternal. I believe these sources of goodness and release and my innately being drawn to them have been instilled in me by a loving Father in Heaven. He knew what my young girl heart needed and He knew what my woman heart still needs to tap into the creative energies of my soul---to be able to lift my sights from the mundane and monotonous to the ennobling and enlivening.
Although caressing of ivory keys may not bring you a thrill and the thought of singing with an orchestra brings fear or you cannot remember the last time you even opened a book (let alone one you enjoyed), that's okay. What is it that makes YOU feel all lit up inside? Do you tap into those thrilling moments or do you just tune out or numb out? Do you go out of your way to create the time needed to be in tune with your emotions, your mind, or your soul? Do you jump at the spontaneous moments? If it's been a while, this is your personal invitation to go do that thing that makes you feel all lit up---even if you don't think you are "good" at it. Sing in the shower at the top of your lungs, turn on some boogie music and dance around the house, or be brave and go do that thing that you have never had the guts to do. Maybe it's sky diving. I don't know what YOU need to do...but go figure it out!