A Flute Went in Search of a Chord

A Native American elder sits on the edge of a red rock mesa, stitching together the clouds that float by in the blue of a New Mexico afternoon. The path of his song invites company.

Tibetan monks chant with tones intermingling in a single throat, like two hawks circling above the fields. But most of us are more like dogs howling along with a passing siren or with a pack of coyotes on a distant hilltop, our voices searching for a place within the whole, afraid that we might not belong in the greater symphony of life.

We rely on the kindness of strangers, as we sing our own songs, one note at a time, and imagine the chords in the midst of which our own isolated lives resonate.

Perhaps we will sing in the chorus of Handel’s Messiah. Or perhaps we are striving to domesticate the energies of the cosmos and dumb down the exuberance of life, so that nothing too inconvenient will ever surprise us.

Then before we know it we are more interested in having others “sing our tune” than in adding our own voice to a chorus of shared concerns–choosing to sweep the chips off the table in life’s lottery rather than toss our coins into the wishing well of hope.

Reaching out to discover something new, we may inadvertently impose labels, familiar from the past, onto an ungraspable wholeness, which we thereby fail to notice.

A water fall is not the “fallen” water pooled beneath, and there is a cost to living out our lives in the shallows of the already happened. Time is always flowing and always manifesting the riches of the unknown, and by entering the stream of present, flowing time, the walls of limitation will melt around us.

When we turn into the wind and hear the leaves sighing in the nearby yards, notice a candy wrapper crossing the street on its tumbling journey, or look up into the grey heavens as the first drops of rain reach us, we may catch ourselves in the midst of dynamic, streaming time.

Then, as the prison cell of a self-constructed reality falls away, and our conviction in a nailed-down world calves off the glacier of preordained certainty, we may find ourselves swimming in a vast ocean world.

There the whales and dolphins are waiting for us, ready to resume an ancient conversation about the well-being of our home world–this symphony of life that we share with all living beings.

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