Less Cornered

We are called

to the centre, to the braves.

Centre stage, we brace

Wherever that place, we must sway

Together we pray

not without rage,

centre behold

we are here, less cornered.

But never to stay, always an encounter, then detract

the chase remains.

“Less cornered” is a term originated from David Whyte, author of Consolations, The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words

How am I made for the world?

“How am I made for the world”? ~David Whyte

One of the most frequent questions asked in childhood is, “what are you going to be when you grow up”, as if there is only one destitute of vocations. There is one career path that we are meant to follow. Once found, all falls into place. We will receive satisfaction from our work, regular pay checks and scheduled leisure with friends and family.

In “The Three Marriages”, David Whyte invites the challenge of work-life balance. Our sense of self, derived from our commitment to our partner and loved-ones, from our work and from our own wellbeing, is in fact the very foundation of joy in all three areas.

In juggling the tasks of spouse, parent, child, sibling, boss, mentor, employee and many more, we ought to be aware of who we are, i. e. our “marriage” to the self. This ever-present undercurrent not only drives our external relationships but also integrates all of which that is “us”.

Marriage is a great analogy for the most intimate kind of relationships. One where the boundaries of self and the other are blurred.

In Ken Robinson’s “Finding Your Element”, he discusses the search for passion; “what do you love and what do you love about it”? But is it simply that we find what we love to do, do it and happiness proceeds?

Paulo Coelho refers to the “personal legend” as what “makes the world more alive for you and makes you more alive within it”. But what truly makes us happy can elude us. Whyte, therefore delves into the inclinations by which we are called, the tendencies that are in fact “bigger” than the finite path.

There is, within us an innate leverage of fulfilment that gives our lives purpose and meaning. That influence embodies not only what we do and to whom we marry but also, who we ultimately are. We are engulfed by a greater force that motivates us to explore certain paths. And if these paths don’t enhance one another in a way that ultimately empower that great virtue, they will lead us to disappointment and sorrow. But if we can discover what truly drives us and propel our decisions, we enhance that strength. That strength is our essence.

Our choice in what we do, who we marry and how we interact with the world depends upon our relationship with that which is innate. When we enforce that which motivates us, our paths are not only clear but they entwine. All decisions become of less weight. They are the most natural unfoldings. We no longer choose between our job and our family. They are one. And how we integrate them calls on the keystone of self-knowledge, an understanding of our inner being so innate that we may be afraid.

Naturally, we are afraid of what could be revealed. But this conversation with the self is so important and significant. Once conquered, we are invited to a banquet with all those we are connected to and we can celebrate. We celebrate the love and the passion, the joy and understanding. The recognition of what made us and therefore, how we are made for the world.

Armed with such affirmation, we brave the world and establish our significance. And how apparent we are. We are indeed wonders of creation for which the world requests. We are elated beings so adept to what the world needs. All our relationships observe such celebration. We are made to rejoice. We are called to be glad, in all of our endeavours, the spouse, the work and most importantly, the self.

Music is the Space Between the Notes

“Music is the space between the notes.” ~Claude Debussy

When I was a young pianist, I loved playing Claude Debussy. His first Arabesque was one of my favourites; the romantic interlude, fluid melody and vaporous softness enticed buoyancy through my imagination.

In classical music, arabesque denotes a piece of floral and decorative music that merges exotic and flow. Debussy was known for his Deux Arabesque, which were composed in 1888 and 1889 amidst French Impressionism. He was influenced by art forms at the time that depict natural lights in its mutable gaze. His first Arabesque contains many gestures of such luminous arch. As each melody phrases into his harmonic presence, translucent movement contours through pace.

Such beautiful consonance is in fact, interpreted as much by audible as by what is unheard. Deliberate absence highlights dulcet presence. Focus allows space to emerge as full being. What isn’t there gives shape to what becomes the process.

Our work, in so many instances is simply to yield that space. Whether creating music, writing a poem, solving a problem or addressing a speech, the “work” had already been done. Our job in the moment, is to allow.

Framing the space is the craft. How do we determine what goes and what stays? Marie Kondo claims in her book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” that, “the question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life”. “Attachment to the past and fears concerning the future” cultivates clutter. Instead, choose to keep only what truly “spark joy”.

Space cultivates being. That which “sparks joy” emerges from the recognition of redundancy. As we reduce noise and invite space, harmony derives. Our natural lyrics converge into focus. Expressed as presence.