Whispers in Limbo-Land

What a week I just had!!  [Sigh!!]

If someone told me I had to start last week over again, I would tell them to  jump off a bridge find a younger woman than I.  Between showing the house many times [which is a great thing that we are grateful for, but boy, does it make for some work and inconvenience!], to some major cramps [sorry if that’s TMI, but I’m just bein’ real], to several days of preparing for the marriage of two of our favorite people in the world [this girl had the distinct privilege of reliving my youth and being one of the girls in the bridal party!], I am pooped!!

We capped off the craziness by taking the day today to visit our beautiful Michigan woods and lakes in their May-perfection, and soak up some sunshine and ice cream and hiking and each other–and to talk and catch up.
Much needed, this gift of a day.

kids in ludington


Ludington 2


Can I just say that trying to sell our house in the middle of real life with no real certainty of the future is a bit taxing?
It’s tough living in limbo, isn’t it?
Our family feels like we are living in a land of the betwixt and between.  I don’t mean to complain.  We still stand in complete trust, but every day that we live at this address in this home that we’ve already told our hearts to say goodbye to, without even one major question being answered, I feel so completely powerless.  Out of control.

And surely, He says…”Now that I have you right where I want you…”

[which kinda makes me chuckle when I read it because of that joke from when I was a kid about the little boy in the closet with a booger on his finger……remember?………..no?…………….cricket, cricket]

I taught piano for 23 years.  [And now I say I’m retired, but I still have some beautiful friends who keep showing up on Monday nights and sitting at my piano and I love them so much that I give them a lesson.]
But, as I sit there teaching, I am reminded of a progression of sorts.  Not a chord progression–whole ‘nother ball of wax which I would explain to you except that I retired.

No, it’s the teacher/student progression of trust.  It goes something like this…
Mom says to 7 year old son…”Billy, you’re about to start taking piano lessons with a very large, old German woman today, and if you misbehave, she’s going to sit on you!” [That is really what one of my favorite piano moms told her son on his first day before he ever met me.  Let’s just say there was a noticeable look of relief on his face when I greeted him at the door!]

Little Billy is hopefully a shy, good boy who wants to play piano and doesn’t view it as a passing hobby and actually practices throughout the week so he doesn’t torture me the following Tuesday with bad sounds and an equally bad attitude.
As time continues, and he begins to play better and look forward to my praise, he begins to play things that actually resemble songs.  All the while, I am at his elbow gently correcting.
At first, when I correct him during his song, he stops cold and looks at me and says, “What did you say?”  Never fails.  Stops him in his tracks.  But, over time I keep gently correcting.  “Don’t forget the F sharp!” I’ll say.  “Crescendo, Billy!” I say.
The more I correct, the more he gets used to my voice, and the quieter I can say the words and he can not only hear me, but he can correct the mistake, mid-note and even keep playing!

Eventually, it’s recital day!  Everyone is dressed their best.  The grandparents have arrived expecting Für Elise, and will soon be surprised with a very interesting, Easy-piano version of a Coldplay song.
Guess where I sit….?  Not in the front row like my teachers did.  Nope.  I sit right where Billy is used to me.
Right at his elbow so he can hear me remind him to breathe when he looks like he will keel over.
Right where he can hear my familiar whisper telling him to slow down though his fingers are begging him to race to the finish so he can GET OFF THE STAGE!!
Close enough to point to the spot on his page where he left off when his brain completely froze and he lost every sense of even his own name and a two second pause feels like fifty years of slow-motion silence.

Do you feel where I’m taking this?  I may be smack-dab in the middle of Limbo-Land and all I wanna do is find the floor and lay there, flat on my back and beg for an answer, but there’s this voice–right near my heart, whispering words of hope.  Reminding me when I’m a little off how to jump back on the path of trust.
Telling me to breathe.
Pointing to the things that are concrete and good and sound like songs.
Telling me that this fifty-year-slow-motion-season is all under control.

Do you know what dissonance is?  It’s when you are hearing or playing some notes and they sound wrong, even when they are right.  Musicians who are yet in training hear the dissonance very pronounced because their songs are slow and the sounds are exaggerated.
When I play the whole song for them, put together correctly, they are amazed at how it all somehow works.  Those same notes played the way they are meant to be played, sound like melody.  They also make the non-dissonant notes ring out even clearer and more beautiful!

Yup!  The dissonance makes the good parts even better.  It’s what makes music, music!  Without a little dissonance, we would find music so boring that we wouldn’t even listen, let alone participate.  You just have to trust that it’s true, play the notes, listen carefully for the nearby voice whispering what is right, and let it resolve the way the composer intended for it to resolve…………..

[She says to herself as she begins another Monday………..SIGH!!]


3 thoughts on “Whispers in Limbo-Land

  1. The always passed out phrase that I’ve heard a lot, and told myself a lot, lately… it will happen when it’s meant to happen. Sure, it’s annoying as heck (limbo-land) and stressful and painful and exhausting but it will happen. As inconvenient as it is, we just have to practice patience and let it unfold. So, being in similar and completely different situations (haha!), prayers and positive thoughts for you all, while we linger in limbo-land!! (And a little something extra for the person who is going to have to help with the long distance set-up of Monday night piano 😉 )

    • Wow! Thanks for this, Nicole! Yes, you’re right on all counts. It’s annoying, but there can be joy in the waiting, too. And, you know better than anyone about those precious Monday night students of mine. I’m hoping they’ll be staying with us now and again and feeling no need to play the piano for me. :o)

  2. Pingback: SOLD!! | Outside of the Box

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