My Unsung Song

"I have spent my days stringing and unstringing my instrument while the song I came to sing remains unsung."  — Rabindranath Tagore

I've been "gonna write" for weeks…months…a really, really embarassingly long time. I have treasured colleagues saying "Oh, please write about …" "I'm so looking forward to your post about …" And all kinds of lovely appreciation for the words I use in sharing my wondering, and my learning on this creative path.  And then today I received this profound invitation, disguised in an email from the creative heart behind Heron Dance "Pause for Beauty" (and if you don't know Rod MacIver's beautiful work, please check it out here!).

"I have spent my days stringing and unstringing my instrument while the song I came to sing remains unsung."

Can you feel the power — the yearning of these words?

"I have spent my days stringing and unstringing my instrument while the song I came to sing remains unsung."

What did you do today?
"I have spent my days stringing and unstringing my instrument…

  • organizing my email
  • doing laundry
  • running errands
  • researching strategies for "making time to write"
  • downloading a free trial of writing software
  • re-reading and savoring past writings
  • wondering if my song is "just right."
  • browsing the "new and improved" options for my instrument
  • tweaking the strings, strumming a little, tightening, loosening, adjusting
  • hoping to find the magical combination that let's me exclaim "There! That's perfect! Once I do this, then I can sing."

…while the song I came to sing remains unsung."

I find my ear is tuned to small failings — the notes a bit off key, the rhythm not quite perfect. "I'm not ready. Just a little more tuning." Time and time again, I lay my instrument down and walk away. Yes. The instrument needs care, loving attention, nurturing. But remember, the instrument is not the song. And music can be made with the meanest of tools. Perfection is not necessary. Only the bright, shining joy of singing out.

I notice the pressure of this music, this song I came to sing, building in my solar plexus. This melody — rich with harmony and dissonance, complexity and simple beauty. A paradox and a wonder. I can feel the bird-heartbeat fluttering fast with desire, pressing against my clasped hands. Asking to give birth to the song. To relax the constraints and let the notes fly out from me and into the world. Soaring.