empty spaces equal strong minds

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(This was originally posted to “, my other blog. I felt it was appropriate for this blog as well. Plus, I experienced re-affirmation of this subject just this past Sunday and I want to add to the content.)

 I read something interesting the other day.

“Do you want to know what makes music?” The answer is, the space between the notes. If it weren’t for those quiet spaces, all we would hear is constant noise.

Where is that space in our lives? Where are those quiet, contemplative moments in our life? If our lives minds are constantly “chattering”, how does wisdom find a home?

Plato and many other philosophers have all subscribed to the notion that declares “an unexamined life is not worth living”. I agree one hundred percent but in this day of constant stimulation, it’s hard to quiet our minds to examine anything. I think that perhaps this is the greatest challenge we face in this century.  It’s not just a problem for teenagers who are constantly “plugged in” to something. It’s a problem most of us have. I know I do.

It’s rare that I sit and read a book. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m always reading but it’s rare that it’s quiet when I’m doing so. Either the TV, the radio, my I-phone, my Nook or my computer are nearby and fired up. I worry that I’m losing the ability to enjoy the quiet.

Exercise quietness for a strong mind.

For today, try to find even as little as five minutes of quiet to allow yourself time to think. Contemplative thinking (quiet time to be alone with our thoughts) is most definitely getting to be a lost art.

More about this subject in the next post.

That was what I wrote last week. Since then my hubby and I have come up to our cabin to open in up for the summer. We went to this little church Sunday. Please understand that I am NOT making fun of the pianist. She was actually very talented. She played the way she wanted to and I’m sure she’s received her fair share of comments from those who like her style. Had it not been for what I’d just read and my thirst for quiet and serenity, I might have enjoyed it more myself. But I didn’t.

Here’s the thing. Every song sounded exactly the same. I sat for a few minutes listening to her and thinking wow, she sure covers all the keys. Then as I continued to listen, it dawned on me. Her fingers never took a rest. I mean literally. There was never a pause, never a nano-second of quiet. She filled in every second with notes and after just a few minutes, I quit listening. (She was using musical chords as well as other finger gymnastics to fill in every blank space in written composition. I know because I play the piano and was taught how to do that as well.)

Any great piece of music is considered great because of its variety. Staccato notes. elongated notes. Runs. Trills. Rests.  Change of rhythm. It’s the variety that makes a musical composition a great composition.

Music is emotional. It’s slow and sad, fast and happy. Music sets the tone for how we feel when we’re watching a movie. Some movies would never get a second-run were it not for the music.

Our lives are the same. It’s the staccato notes that gives our lives a certain richness. But unless we include the “spaces” (the rest notes), are lives just become constant noise. We quit listening. Our lives are too noisy to listen. We consider it wasteful to substitue a rest for a staccato note. And I can guarantee you one thing for sure. If you’re too busy to listen to yourself, you’re not listening to anyone else either. People have to be given space in your life if you’re going to hear what they’re trying to say.

Take some time today and just listen. You might be surprised what you hear.