I’m going to tell you a rainy afternoon story which has affected me deeply, and which continues to teach me very important things. The things I’m learning affect my entire life, and therefore also my teaching and my music-making. Everything is connected.
So I leave it to you, dear Reader, to read and drawn your own conclusions, and to make your own connections with your own life and music-making, as you see fit. Everything in life is your potential teacher.
A rainy afternoon story
I’m driving home from a lovely, peaceful afternoon relaxing with my friend. I’m on the highway and the traffic starts slowing down. Slower, slower… why so much traffic on a Saturday afternoon?
There is a car stopped in the middle lane, and the traffic on either side (I’m in the right lane) parts, moving slowly around the car, continuing to move forward…slowly slowly….
In front of the car there is an open space. A buck sits regally, self-possessed, carrying his antlers tall, front legs curled gracefully beneath him. Picture of peace in the middle of a busy highway.. or perhaps stunned… has he been hit?
I roll down my window and pass slowly slowly next to him and look to see a bit of blood at the corner of his mouth… is he dying? Or will he recover? I have no idea.
But my heart and soul go out to this deer, and I suffer from being in a car that must continue on down the lane, moving onwards into my life, while a part of me remains behind, keeping vigil over the quiet deer.
I’m still with the deer even now as I write this, waiting soul-to-soul with the deer, until life will carry him into the next moment…whether that will be further into life or on to death I do not know.
But what I do know is that the deer knows how to stop for what is important in a way that I haven’t yet learned. May I learn to stop with the wisdom of the deer…
Now, two days later, I’ve just heard from a facebook friend and colleague, Melody Schaper, that she had almost exactly the same experience a week ago. In fact, another friend of ours even thought she was reading the same story twice.
This is what I told Melody after I read her blogpost about her experience with a sitting deer by the road:
How beautiful to be able to share this experience with you who have had such a similar one. I know we saw the same deer – the same spirit. And he was teaching both of us what we needed to learn in that moment. And it continues. I, too, keep thinking about the deer….
For you, the deer is Cindy Love and yourself… for me, the deer is my son, who has been ill for more than two months now, without a diagnosis. My heart and soul are with him, keeping vigil, while my life moves on, carrying me form experience to experience, through The Land of I-Don’t-Know.
And the greatest lesson the spirit-deer is teaching me is how to stop and wait, trusting that my stopping and waiting is in itself healing.
And that just came to me right now as I am writing…..and it brings just a little tear… so I know that you were meant to write to me so that I could express the extra bits that I hadn’t realized yet.
I have had such a strong urge of late to learn how to be a healer, with and beyond the use of the hands, and I know the deer is one of my teachers, bringing me more fully and deeply into who I am.
I feel no fear, but there is suffering for and with those who are suffering. The stopping and waiting with absolute trust, connecting soul-to-soul, is that which heals.
Believe it or not, both of these stories came to me just a week after my friend and AT teacher, Tommy Thompson, told a story in a workshop I attended about how two deer changed his life and influenced his teaching forever, infusing every contact he has with a student with a deep awareness of their inherent beauty, without beginning and without end.
My story and Melody’s story are two more beautiful, moving stories without a beginning and without an end…. just as all stories are.
If I may make one connection for you, dear Reader, let it be this:
Every story in your life has no beginning and no end. Every story comes out of the previous moment, and moves on into the next, and it must be exactly what it is, relative to the past and the future.
Can we live this way, letting life carry us from event to event, as we stop and keep vigil like the wise deer, letting the chaotic and noisy traffic of life pass us by, sitting regally still for what is truly important?
Can we make our music this way, too? Knowing that each note depends on what has come before, and leads into the next, while it’s all dependent on everything we have learned and experienced throughout our entire life up until this moment?
Life and death are music, and everything is healing when we choose to see the meaning. And even if we can’t see the meaning right now, we can stop and wait, and trust that the meaning is there, teaching us all the time, whether we are aware of it or not.
“To the pure, all things are pure.” – Ibn Arabi
Love to you.
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