Time to Breathe

Notes
Rests
Sound
Silence
Working
Together
To make music
Pleasing
Not only
To the ears
But also
Body, mind, soul
And yet,
One key
Element
Is often
An afterthought-
Silence
If not
Savored
Disappears
Transposing
Sweet melody
To mere noise
Leaving
No time
To breathe
No time
To sing

Part of the Harmony

I have not spent enough time at my piano in recent weeks. So this week, I decided to remedy that. With it being Christmas time, what to play was an easy choice.

As I played through several old Christmas hymns, the word balance kept coming to mind. No matter the context, there are always notes, voices, instruments, rhythms that need to be heard above the rest. And quite often, that spotlight is shared, giving others a chance to be heard.

Even though one voice might not be the momentary focus, it remains essential to the music. Where would that melody be without harmony? Or that jazz riff without the brushes of the drum floating behind it?

When I sat down to play this morning, I began by playing the hymns as written. Though tempting, I did not add any embellishments. My goal was to play so that the melody rang out clearly, while the harmony provided support.

After reading the music as written, I went back and added new rhythms, patterns, harmonies while keeping the melody clear. Both versions required the same thing-balance.

I have said this before, but the only time my brain is calm is while I am playing the piano. Somehow, it provides an inner balance. There is that word again. Outside voices are quieted. Worries of the day temporarily disappear.

Music reminds me that I do not need to raise my voice above the crowds. Although I may have something important to say, unless it is balanced with love for those in hearing range, I should probably remain part of the harmony.

Harmony-that is my prayer for this Christmas. For there to be less shouting and more listening. That we may experience joy amid our sadness. And hope that outweighs our fears. Merry Christmas!

Please enjoy a few Christmas carols! ❤ Kelley Morris, piano

What Child is This?
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Dat
Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Depleted

I had brunch with my dear friend, Marina, this morning. We caught up over coffee and yummy food. It has been a busy couple of weeks, and friend time has been scarce. I don’t think I realized how much I needed this time until it was over.

Near the end of our visit, my friend looked at me and said, “You really are depleted, aren’t you?” I chuckled at first. She tends to use what I would call formal words in casual conversation. It is her way, and I love it. This term, however, stuck in my head. Depleted.

When I got home, I wrote the word down. Hmmm…an interesting word. Looking up the definition lead to a list of synonyms: exhausted, sapped, drained, expended. Yep, that’s how I’m feeling. (Honestly, I might have stayed in bed all day had my friend not called.)

Then I scrolled down to the definition part you never take time to read-the Latin word roots, etc. There I saw these words-emptied out. Wow! An entirely new perspective. In order for something to be emptied out, it must have been full at one point. This must also have been true of me, even if I can’t remember when right at this moment. 😉

Instead of thinking, “I’m so tired, there’s so much still to do.” What if I take the time to be refilled? What would that look like?

The upcoming week is musical performance week. Double responsibility. However, I can’t wait until it’s over to begin this process of refilling. So, what is my plan?

Take each day as it comes.
Pray and read-things that calm my thoughts.
Eat a healthy breakfast.
Drink more water.
Take short naps after school each day before call time.
Go to bed early.
Enjoy playing for this amazing show!

By the way, antonyms for depleted are energized and full. I know it will take more than a day to get there. Nevertheless, hopefully, this fresh perspective will remind me that when I am feeling depleted, it is time to slow down and remember to take care of myself. That is the only way I can go from depleted to full.

And this process might just begin by having brunch with a friend. 🙂

Lessons From the Birds

“I know every bird in the mountains…” Psalm 50:11

On a recent road trip, I noticed a bird hanging in mid-air. Located just above the trees, its wings fluctuated rapidly up and down, side to side. This feathered friend appeared to be in an unstable situation, possibly caught in a wind current.

As I watched the bird, assuming it was struggling to find balance, I thought of a tightrope walker. I could just imagine an invisible string pulled tight underneath, its tiny claws grasping to hold on, fighting for control.

How often might I be described in this manner? “Have you noticed Kelley lately? There’s so much happening, she appears to be holding on for dear life. She seems a little scattered and frantic. I hope she’s ok.” Probably more times than I’d care to admit. 😉

Our drive continued, the bird no longer in view, yet I thought of it once again. Was it possible the bird wasn’t struggling after all? Perhaps it was simply resting in the current for a moment, allowing the wind to move its wings as it wished. This thought provided a different perspective. One which brought thoughts of security and rest.

Maybe there’s a simple lesson to be learned from these contrasting views. What if I apply both perspectives to my own life? When the strong winds come, and they will come, I will have two choices.

One-I can fight against them, grasping for control, trying to find balance on my own tightrope.
Two-I can relinquish control, allowing the winds to move me where they may, trusting that God will be there with me when I land.

Viewing my own life in this manner might also influence the way I see others. Perhaps making me less likely to analyze and more likely to offer help.

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:26-27

I wish I’d been able to watch that bird awhile longer. What happened next? How long did it remain in that current? Did it eventually soar off to new heights? I guess I’ll never know.