Mar 2, 2011

Silence: A Project

The last few months, I've embarked on a sort of maniacal self-education campaign. My job has been evolving, I've been taking on more violin students, the band is alive and kicking, I am running a (teensy) craft business, I have gigs to play, I find myself reading voraciously* in spare hours, and if I have to stop reading long enough to make dinner, well, I might as well try out new recipes and techniques. And I am trying to learn as much as can about all of these areas, because I can and I want to. It feels a little bit like being in school...only the pressure is entirely self-imposed, and I set the requirements. If I were to write out my current course listing, it might look something like this:

-Literature You Should Have Read in Highschool and College (If it Hadn't Been for Poor Teachers, Family Crises, and Music Performance Degrees)
-Gourmet Cooking in a Hurry
-Starting a Violin Studio 101
-Crash Course in Church Communications ("Hello, You Are Now the Communications Director")
-Performing and Promoting Quality Indie Rock

I feel completely alive. I feel myself growing branches and roots (and hopefully some fruit, too). I've never read Kerouac or Dostoevsky or Orwell before, believe it or not. I've never thought so deeply about what it means to be a Christian living outwardly in the heart of a city as now. I've never been able to pull off such good pot roast or cupcakes in my life. And I have absolutely no spaces in my day that are not filled.

I'm realizing that I also need to take a crash course in silence. Silence without a book in hand or a skillet on the stove or a timer ticking or an album playing in the background. Silence for centering, listening, praying, and waiting. It's a strange project for a musician's to-do list. But I think it's what's been missing.

*In the last eight weeks I've read...
The Canterbury Tales – Geoffrey Chaucer
The Next Christians – Gabe Lyons
Pavilion of Women – Pearl Buck
Persuasion – Jane Austen

War of the Worlds – H.G. Wells

When Helping Hurts – Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert

Wise Blood – Flannery O’Connor

1984 – George Orwell

The Swan House – Elizabeth Musser

The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
The Cellist of Sarajevo – Steven Galloway

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith

Animal Farm – George Orwell

On the Road – Jack Kerouac

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Brothers Karamazov - Dostoevsky (in progress)

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