Something about a Bright blue sky The color first Catches my eye Reminds me of My Dad’s eyes Bright and true Even a cloud Drifting by Cannot eclipse Their honesty Instead, the cloud Brings clarity Simply by contrast Looking up Toward the sky I breathe in The fresh air It fills my lungs Clears my head Looking up At my Dad I feel safe And loved Thanks to the Light in his Blue sky eyes
Peace and love Words that fit Together seamlessly But sorrow and happiness Don’t belong in The same line Each word needs Its own place Fills its own space Well, that’s how It would be In a perfect world But the truth is This world Is not perfect Honest reflection asks If perfection should Be my goal, anyway? Without deep sorrow Can there be True happiness? No simple answer Only a mystery One I must accept Allowing its truth to Sink way down deep Into my soul Where sorrow And happiness Are woven together An unbreakable seam Holding the fabric of My heart in place
Last week a piano technician came and tuned my new piano. Even though it is a beautiful new instrument, there are several reasons it needed tuning. Being moved to a new location. Sitting in a different space, with different temperatures, on a different type of floor. All factors that affect the way it sounds.
I listened as the technician worked. She listened to such tiny details. The way she would tune one note to its octave counterpart. When I played those notes together in a chord, I didn’t notice that they were out of tune. But hearing her pick them all apart, it was obvious.
The mechanics of a piano are fascinating. My explanation to students is usually simplified. Your finger presses down the key, which causes a hammer inside the piano to strike a string producing the sound.
Watching my piano being taken apart, actually viewing the insides, gave me a new perspective. Each piece has its place and must be perfectly aligned to produce a high-quality sound. Even a new piano needs time to adjust and sometimes requires a little assistance.
One thing stood out above the rest, voicing. I asked the technician about adjusting the voicing, making it a little less bright. Basically, taking the edge off of the sound. She explained that part of that process involves the felt material on the hammers.
A needle is used to soften the felt. When done correctly, it does not damage the material. It just slightly changes the way the hammers strike the strings.
Once the piano was put back together, I sat down to play. Wow! What a difference. Not only was it in tune, but it also had a much warmer tone. The sharp edge had been softened.
This experience made me think about my life. What if I’m in a new place, with new surroundings, expectations, and people? What if my reaction is one of fear or frustration? My words may sound edgy, sharp, or out of tune.
Like the felt on those hammers, something inside me needs to be softened. An adjustment might come in the form of an honest word from a trusted friend. Yes, stings for a moment. But the sting will not last if accepted with grace. The knowledge that someone loves me that much, however, is lasting.
Hopefully, as I continue playing my piano, I will be reminded to check my own tone. And will gracefully accept any needed adjustments to keep me in-tune with my husband and children, family and friends, the world around me.
“As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17
Struggled to get Out of bed I would rather Not admit But if I’m Being honest Some days I feel low I move slow And the simple Becomes difficult Tears gather Behind my eyes Waiting for their Chance to escape To expose my Inward state The voice inside My head says One foot in front Of the other Keep moving Don’t stop Get in your car Take a drive Feel the sunshine On your face Tomorrow is a New day You Are Not Alone
“Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3: 22-23
Now that school is out for summer, I look forward to many conversations over coffee with friends. I love the connections which begin and grow from this practice. They bring renewal in ways which often surprise me.
Sometimes they also bring friendly reminders. Here are a few much-needed ones I recently received.
Perfection should never be my goal.
Honesty in friendship is a necessity.
Daily prayer provides daily renewal.
The first reminder concerned perfection, an ideal we are bombarded with on all fronts. You can be the perfect wife, mom, friend, teacher. Fill in the blank. That goal always leads to disappointment. Why? We are not flawless creatures. We do not live in a picture-perfect world.
Admitting our imperfections and hearing someone else say, “Me, too” is powerful. That one simple phrase takes away a small piece of the loneliness which often accompanies my inward thoughts. It provides a beginning, a binding with another heart.
The second friendly reminder was honesty. Truth, even spoken by a friend, is not always easy to receive. Just this week, a friend said to me, “I have to talk to you about something.” She went on to share observations about certain attitudes and my need for an adjustment. 😉
Although her words were difficult to hear, they brought a sense of relief. They took me back to the beginning realization-I am not perfect. And that is ok! I can, however, seek to be better.
Another friend reminded me of the importance of daily prayer. It holds the power to renew my mind, even when I don’t know what to pray. It also reminds me that God loves me in spite of my faults. And affirms my purpose at this moment, on this day.
As summer begins, my heart wants to soak in these beautiful reminders. I’m quite certain more reminders will be needed in the coming days. But for today, I am thankful for honest words from caring friends. And I will end this day with a prayer for rest and renewal.
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” Psalm 139:23
Tomorrow is a new day! Grab a friend and a cup of coffee! ❤ ☕️