I like chaos. I thrive on projects and interruptions, deadlines and late nights with coffee and music. I like waking up with a crick in my neck because I awkwardly passed out in the pile of books, papers and popsicle sticks and glue that somehow amassed whilst in the throws of whatever work I was doing. I’m good at filling my time and can say with complete honesty that I haven’t been bored in years. That’s more of a confession than anything else, because there are much better qualities for one to have in their repertoire.
As much as I enjoy having so many things going on all the time, I’m like the rest of the old people out there who lament over and yearn for simpler times. I wasn’t a kid for long, but when I was young, my life was divided into school and not school. Relationships were simpler (there was absolutely no pressure to get married–my grandmother got on me about this just recently). Life’s options were playing, learning, sleeping or eating. A simple life like that merits much praise, but not for a 28 year-old man who has some notion of purpose in his being.
I remember learning to play the recorder when I was in elementary school. I don’t know why that plastic instrument is a child’s introduction to playing music (at least, it was mine) because it’s a horrible, horrible thing. The notes are shrill and presumably off-key. Thirty children simultaneously blowing their lungs into a plastic pipe with holes bored into it doesn’t make for easy listening, but it’s simple and easy for the musicians to follow.
As everything else in life goes, music got more complicated when I started playing the trumpet, drums and tried my hand at guitar (that was an unfortunate mess). Rhythms developed and demanded attention, because playing to your own beat doesn’t work when participating in any sort of group setting. And all of a sudden, not everyone was playing the same note, either.
Life has its harmonies. A week or month has a variety of highs and lows, joys and sorrows that together, create a melody that a hundred seven-year-old children on recorders couldn’t ever manage. It doesn’t suffice to pay heed to the high notes alone, the victories and the revelries are complimented by the losses and failures, which happen simultaneously.
So we progress from a strident simplicity to a probably less than coordinated accord, but it’s a multifaceted mess, nonetheless. And it’s mostly lovely, even when discord erupts and makes everyone a little awkward. If we practiced a little more, that might not happen but that same muchness of everything going on sometimes prevents the preparation and polishing that we desire, so we just have to rough it or something like that. It’s times like these that we get what we get and hopefully, even if it isn’t pleasing to the human audience, the divine patrons find some glory in it.