we went to a concert a week ago or so. it was a group of us and we were all excited about going. the band we were going to see is creative, talented, sincere and full of energy. what’s not to like about that?!
we caravanned in three cars. well, we dan-a-vanned, actually, with dan leading the way. he is a GPS guru and, if you can keep up with him on the highway, a great person to follow going somewhere.
we got there, full of anticipation and excitement. sat in seats one row from the very top, able to look out at the whole audience. many of us have gone to concerts together before; we try to do fun stuff especially as the winter sets in. we laugh a lot and that is a very good thing.
the concert started with an infomercial….on video and a live push as well. i thought perhaps that was it….one infomercial is plenty when you have purchased tickets to an event that is not a fundraiser. but that wasn’t the case. with the exception of two warm-up artists who played maybe 3 songs each, the whole first half of the concert was full of infomercial preaching and over-done talk-talk.
by the time we got to intermission, it was easy to be annoyed. the first half of the concert was over. we hadn’t seen the band we had come to see yet and now we had sat through what seemed to be agenda….i have yet to figure out why this was so. what symbiotic relationship is there between these infomercials and the band we were there to see? do these organizations host the whole concert tour? do they underwrite the concerts in venues of their choosing? do they play the band’s music? no matter how dedicated the band is to these efforts, was it appropriate to take up most of the first half of this concert with this rhetoric? i was sitting in my concert-seat trying to figure out this stuff. is that where the band would want me to start?
so now, here we are, at the second half. and i have to say, i am not “feelin’ the love.” it took me a good portion of the second half to get back to open-hearted listening of this concert, to actually hear the music and embrace it.
because: the band concert i had come to see was colored by the first half of the concert.
and then – there’s life.
wow. i can’t think of a better metaphor than this concert.
WE are colored by the first half, the first part, the beginning and middle of life as we step into the Next of life. “of course we are,” you say aloud to me. cognitively we totally get it. we shouldn’t bring into Next what colored us from Before. we have to draw the line in the sand. lessons – yes. anger, frustrations, disappointments, prejudices – no. each Next is a fresh start. for that matter, yes, each new day is a fresh start.
d and i have been doing a meditation that was offered free with oprah and deepak. it has been about awareness and making every moment matter. now, i am all about moments (that whole thready thing and all.) but awareness is a much bigger responsibility than we realize. it’s so much easier to react than to stop for a few seconds (or however long it takes) and be aware. sometimes i find i should Stop longer than i stop. awareness can be slowww in arriving, particularly if i stubbornly hold onto all the negative stuff. we sometimes cling to that stuff as if it were a lifevest.
now…i am thinking: in those moments, when i can feel myself reacting (strongly or negatively or angrily or with preformed disposition) to something, i realize (metaphorically) that i am at the (in-real-life) concert and i am looking at the second half through first-half-eyes. it is becoming an amazing tool for me to stop and think – what about the first half of the concert is getting under my skin for this Next? am i aware that the second half can be even just moments after the first half? it’s not always years or decades that separates Before from Next. it can be minutes. it’s shocking how blind we can be to what we carry forward, one minute to the Next.
the Next is full of good and hope and moments and not-what’s-lost-but-what-is-still-there-ness (thank you, ptom). stepping over the limen, the threshold, is necessary. leaving behind the first half of the concert, the part that colors us and clouds our clear-eyed-hopeful-stepping-into the second half, is absolute.