|Purple Night - Weldon Spring 2/2/11|
I said to my soul, be still, and wait...
So the darkness shall be the light,
and the stillness the dancing. - T.S. Elliot
Be still. Wait.
Three insignificant words create two small instructions, and yet on some days they are the most impossible to understand, let alone accomplish.
We are such a busy, busy people. We seem to think at times that our 'busy-ness' is a sign of how important or worthy we are. Be still? Our puritan genes rebel at the notion, equating it with idleness.
We are also an impatient people. Our drive and determination, which serves us so well in many situations, also serves to make us want what we want when we want it. Delayed gratification is an ancient philosophy to many who grew up in recent decades. Wait? The very word's anathema to us.
But what if, by being still, we can see the darkness become light?
What if, by waiting, we can witness the stillness become the dancing?
It is an exercise in discipline to be still. It takes a willingness to silence the chatter, to seek peace, and to look inwardly. It requires time.
It is an exercise in faith to wait. Knowing that there is a transformation yet to come, a dance to come from stillness, requires us to believe.
Storms rage. Governments topple. Families are in crisis. I'm not suggesting naively that we can turn all our problems around by sitting in a lotus position and thinking happy thoughts. What I am asking is this; can finding a few minutes of stillness each day help you to feel more calm in the face of our difficulties? Can acquiring the ability to wait help us to see what may eventually transpire?
I believe it can.
Today I encourage you to be still and wait.
The music selection is Chopin's Nocturne (the word 'nocturne' means "painting of a night scene") in F sharp Major, Opus 15 No. 2. It's played by Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman, whom many consider to be one of the world'g greatest living pianists. What I love about him is the way he expresses himself completely as he plays, not just with his hands, but with his entire soul. Watch his face as he plays.
Though one can sense the stillness of the night in this nocturne, we also hear the winds of a storm brewing, and yet Chopin brings us back to peace in the end. He seems to be saying, "just wait...the dance is coming."