time after time...

This week I have finally found time again to practice the upright bass.  After a gloriously liberating sabbatical, that included almost daily sessions with my new bass, it has been hit and miss for the past few months. And with the exception of getting ready for "Missa Gaia" and then Christmas Eve, I simply haven't made time to experiment or hone any new musical challenges. But that shifted a bit this week and I am starting to get back in the groove of playing scales and arpeggios before moving into new adventures in sound. I note this return to practice for three reasons:

+ First, it is almost Lent - and last year at this time we were solidifying last minute details in preparation for heading out on sabbatical. Almost a full year has traveled by us - and in us - in what feels like a blink of an eye.

+ Second, Paul Kantner's death yesterday (he of Jefferson Airplane fame) hit me hard. I truly loved the music the Airplane created as well as the groove of living they celebrated. Like the loss of Lou Reed three years ago, my sadness around St. Paul's leaving at 74 awakens me (again) to the shortness of my existence.

+ And third, given the rushing of time, I am aware once more of the aching  have inside to do
three things well:  nourish the spiritual lives of my congregation, play/create beautiful and soul satisfying music, and tenderly love those closest to me.

A poem by Carrie Newcomer, "Addition," says it well:

My father taught me about numbers,
How to carry forward
What had grown too large for its column
Add the 5 to the 7
Leaving only a 2.
It is like that,
Taking all you've me through,
Combing everything gathered and lost,
Add to the sum a little kindness
For doing the best you could
With what you knew at the time.
Tally up all the fives and sevens,
All the sixes and fours,
All that came up odd or even,
Then carry forward
Your expanded self
Which has grown beyond the limits
Of the first container.
Nothing is every truly gone;
It only changes places. 

Today, our Sabbath, will be given to quietly rearranging rooms and discarding more CDs and books in a quest to simply. Get rid of all that does not bring you joy is the invitation - and so it goes.


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