October 23, 2021

Chocolate for a Cellist

Knock, Knock.

Who's there?

Something that should matter to you.

Something that should matter to you - who?

Yes. And also Where and When and How and For What Purpose and For What Cause.

Everything matters.

 

There's so much to care about. Everybody is giving me more things to care about.  The headlines are a constant influx of things that are important, certainly all over the world but also in my little corner of it. Every day is a constant barrage of doorbells and knocking.

 

We are asked to carry, hold, process, and digest all the information spread out in public print and sound. We are to care about all of it, on podcasts, in headlines, on text message. We are to implement every actionable, ethical impulse that tugs at our hearts and our minds.

 

Everything matters, and it's all accessible. The small world of social media allows us to connect with anyone at any time, so we have this extended circle that exists throughout space and time, and it all shows up in front of us all the time.

 

We are linked constantly with more people than our hearts can hold. Our screens saddle us with more problems than the human frame can carry.

 

I do think it is good for some things to be stretched - hearts, minds, imagination, compassion, and empathy.  Yes.  I'm in for this.

 

But minutes, attention, bones, instinct, and life span… these are not as elastic.

 

We don't know how to hold it all.  So many faces, names, needs.
So we give the People new names: Them and They.

 

We don't know how to hold this moment, so we give Time a new name: Then.
We simplify reality into dreams of Then, when things were, and when things will be.
Long Ago or Long From Now. Then.

 

In The Art of Gathering, Priya Parker tells about when she was growing up, when her mother used to say to her three basic questions:

 

What is something you're good at?
What is the need?
How can you help?

 

Andy Stanley says, "Who are you?  What breaks your heart?  Fix it."

He also says, "Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone."

 

Anne Morrow Lindburgh says, "Look around you. The here and the now and the individual have always been the special concern of the saints, the artists, and the poet, and the women."

 

(And, I propose, a lot of the men as well.)

 

I can't fix all the things.  This is true.

But that makes me feel like I cannot fix any of the things.  This is not true.

We can't help the masses, so we think we can't help anyone.

You can help someone.

 

Do for one what you wish you can do for everyone.

 

What is something I'm good at?

What is the need?
How can I help?

 

When I've answered these questions, then I have done what I can do.

And then I trust that other people will do the same thing.

 

In Gift from the Sea, Anne Morrow Lindburgh says, "These are drops that make up the stream. These are the essence of life itself. When we start at the center of ourselves, we discover something worthwhile extending toward the periphery of the circle.  We find again some of the joy in the now, some of the peace in the here, some of the love in me, and some of the love in you - which go to make up the kingdom of heaven and earth."

 

What I do might just be a drop in the bucket.
But the bucket gets full somehow, with a lot of drips and drops.
Sometimes a cup, sometimes a tablespoon.
It's not my job to fill the bucket.  It's my job to pour my cup.

 

My brother can make anything fun. That's what he's good at.

The world needs more fun.

So he's out in the world, creating fun, putting fun things into the world.

It's not all necessarily waterslides and fireworks, birthday parties and fruity drinks.

Fun is different for anyone.

 

At a rehearsal, he heard a cellist say, "Oh, what I wouldn't give for a chocolate bar."

Maybe she skipped dinner. Maybe her blood sugar was low.  Maybe she just wanted some fun.

She couldn't slip away to the vending machine, but he could.

So he did.  And he placed the chocolate bar on her music stand.

 

He didn't buy chocolate for the whole orchestra.  He did for one what he wished he could do for all of them.  He made one person's day.

 

It's not They, Them, Then.  It's You, Me, Now.

 

What can I do?  I can write sentences.
Sometimes they're pretty and important.
Sometimes they are love and courage.

The world needs things that are pretty and important, imbued with love and courage.
So I keep writing and posting.
I stay in the social media game because I can bring daisies to the table.

 

Wouldn't it be great if people weren't hungry?  Yes, it would.

Wouldn't it be great if people could be kind?  Yes, it would.

Period.  End of sentence.

Yes, it would.

 

The next sentence begins with And.

(Not But.)

 

What is something I'm good at?
What is the need?
How can I help?

 

Trust other people to do the same.

We can fill the whole ocean.

One comment on “Chocolate for a Cellist”

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