Skip to main content

Beauty in Movement

A couple months ago I was making a comment to the staff at church. I was trying to summarize the difference between good musicians and mediocre musicians and I was pretty sure I had discovered the easiest way to differentiate between the two. A good musician will play the music with their whole body, not just their fingers.

I have been stewing on this thought for many weeks now and I genuinely think that it is true. Someone who is 100% involved in performing a work of music will not be able to help pouring their whole selves into the performance, and it will show with their whole body language, not just the perceived sound.

Consider for instance, the following clip of the world renowned Yo-Yo Ma's performance of the Elgar Cello Concerto.
Even before he begins playing there is music in the way he raises his bow for the first time. Contrast the bodily connection that Yo-Yo Ma has with his orchestral counterparts. There is a reason he is the soloist and the other musicians are not.

Consider another example found in this clip of young ballerinas performing in one of their first dance recitals.
Contrast this performance with the following of the Cincinnati Ballet company...

There is beauty in the movement of the players. There is beauty expressed in the journey from one pose to the next. Unlike the 5 year old dancers who strike a pose and haltingly find the next position they should be in, the professional artists make it pleasant to watch how they get from position one to position two. They make the movements between them artistic.

A good musician does the same thing. It isn't just about playing all the right notes and getting the order of them correct. It's about what happens between the notes--all those little nuances that can't be expressed on paper or realized through a recording, but rather felt as an intimate connection between performer and music, between listener and performance, and between soul and sound.

This is why we still love to go to recital halls and watch the ballet. There is a missing link when we listen to a performance on a CD that we are missing. It is the added element of performance that can only be perceived by the eye. And likewise, without that element, the performance would suffer sonically.

There is a line in the animated movie Cars that says "It's not about the destination, it's about the journey." I whole-heartedly agree with that sentiment on both a large scale (life/roadtrip/season of life) and a small scale (performance/daily activity/everyday experience). Whether you are considering the journey from infancy to adulthood or the manner in which you live in the moment with a child throughout the day, it isn't about the activity or about doing the right thing or what have you, it is about the heart you have while you do it. It's about being present in the moment and moving with grace from one action to the next. It's about doing the right thing and asking for grace after doing the wrong thing. That is the difference between someone who has their act together and someone who is just pushing through to the next thing. The difference between the artist and the amateur. The difference between music and art.
It's the beauty in the movement.


Popular posts from this blog

Imitation: Diets, Houses, and Faith

There were 3 options for my preschoolers to choose from: Honey Bunches of Oats, Cocoa Pebbles, or Raisin Bran. I set all 3 on the table and asked each child which cereal they would like to eat for breakfast; all three chose 'Honey Boats.' After pouring their cereal and getting each kid situated, I poured myself a bowl of Raisin Bran and we all got to munching.

When Isaiah (my oldest) finished his cereal first he asked if he could have more. Sure thing, which one do you want? 
"That one" *pointing to the Raisin Bran*
Surprised I pour him a bowl of Raisin Bran, surprised that he ate the entire bowl.

As we were cleaning up our bowls from the table after breakfast I realized that the Cocoa Pebbles were not touched this morning, not even mentioned. Odd, I thought, typically the chocolately-sugary cereals don't last a week at our house. And yet this is the same [big] bag of Cocoa Pebbles that we opened over a month ago. Why the sudden lack of interest?


Running Start

"The worst that could happen is wet shoes and a broken ankle."
Those were the encouraging words Katie offered as we walked around the backside of the pond a second time.

On the front side of the pond was a little island, about 7 feet away from the shoreline. It appeared to be the home for the geese and ducks who flocked about the water that warm winter day. From a distance it looked like an easy jump to make it from the bank to the island, but the closer I got to the edge of the pond, the further the jump appeared to be. I definitely knew I wouldn't be able to make the distance from a standing jump but I felt fairly confident I could make the jump with a running start.

If it was just a matter of jumping from point A to point B, I would have attempted the jump with no hesitation, but there was some risk involved. Wet shoes, a broken ankle, and wounded pride were all fairly low risks overall, but still, it was enough to make me second-guess my parkour abilities.

So I decid…

You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone

WLC Day 2

We are officially in the crave stage.
And we're only 36 hours in...

Hopefully this stage will subside soon and be replaced by some kind of a longing stage, which somehow feels less intense.

Here's the thing folks: I really, really want to eat a chocolate chip cookie.
But I can't.

The Whole Life Challenge involves an 8 week sugar detox, as well as refraining from these non-compliant foods. The first 24 hours is fun, because it's new and different and I feel really good about what I'm doing. But my body hadn't caught on yet.
Now it seems to be upset at the lack of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and other artificial sweetners that I have been refusing to feed it.
And it has every right to feel that way.
I have regularly fed my body a big healthy dose of sugar during and after every meal: breakfast, lunch and especially dinner. My body has learned to expect subsequent helpings of the sweet stuff as I have given it no hesitations about anticipating when…