I’m practicing my scales.
Like a musician perfecting his art, I open a Word document and let my fingers scurry across the keyboard, tapping lightly over seemingly senseless letters, forming words that become phrases that become ideas. It seems senseless, but it is life. Or is it?
Practicing scales enforces the mechanical action of playing an instrument. For a musician, it is training the fingers to press a piano key or training your embouchure to form notes on the flute.
My instrument is the keyboard on my MacBook. Practicing means typing the words that come to my mind or my ears. The more I practice, the better I become at keeping up with the speed of the thoughts flying through my head. My goal is to not have to force my mind to stop creating simply because my fingers can’t keep up.
I remember the Karate Kid’s repetitious practices – Wax on, wax off as he worked on his master’s car. Eventually, though, those motions became part of his Karate lessons, instilling muscle memory.
Practicing scales is striving to be better at what we do. It is making ourselves remember what more-than feels like.
This sounds like homework, though. I wonder how many of us have stopped learning because homework is the longest four-letter word in Creation. Have we become so comfortable in our lives that we’ve lost the urge to strive for more? Has the boredom of repetition settled us into a life that is less-than?
More is a subjective word. To me it means reaching for that higher spiritual goal that allows me to share the joy that emanates from within me when all is right with my world.
More used to mean something different, though. It used to mean having enough money to be able to live that proverbial happy life. What would make me happy was always outside of me – publishing the books I’ve written, my name on the lips of readers world-wide, hobnobbing with the personalities I’ve only dreamed of meeting.
Last year, I got tired of a less-than life, a life that tried to lull me into a sense of contentment that was never real. (Again, I have to repeat, I do not play the blame-game that shoves responsibility off my shoulders. My life is mine to improve or to destroy.)
The Summer of 2014, I took my search for More into my own hands and my perfect little house of cards came tumbling down. I look back wistfully sometimes and wonder …., but I know that in breaking through I’ve broken free. That less-than life could lull me again, but it will never satisfy me.
I continue practicing my scales now, click-click-clicking in the early morning mist of an incoming cold front, working toward a more-than that calls me like a distant pavement, knowing that it is closer to me because I am no longer stuck in the chains of less-than.
What is more to you? Is it a word that means physical bounty that you have no real control over or is it the goal of reaching higher spiritually, something that is completely under your control?
I urge you, dear friends, to strive to be more. Practice the scales that will help your muscle memory. If your life is comfortable, try to make it better. If it’s less-than, I urge you to find the more that lies within you.
Much love and light,
The Dragonfly’s Student