It could have been the composer Debussy or Mozart that said that ‘music is the space between the notes’. This quotation often recurrs in my thoughts, on the midst of busy and pressured days, full of conversations, things to do, places to be.
Life seems a little bewildering just now, full of adjustments to the latest information and recommendations re the covid pandemic. We also are trying to come to terms with losses of so many kinds, during lockdown, in our society, in our life stories. And so our thoughts swirl with regrets, sadnesses, information and possibilities. Often we seem to speak fast to convey the vast amount going on in our heads.
And so this quotation really helps me, that the music can somehow be the space between the notes- what is of significance, can be the timing of the silence. I like the fact that the intervals in pieces of music are called ‘rests’. That makes perfect sense to me!
Especially as we move through this time of pandemic, there are many profound questions as to how we should live. And there is a movement towards less frenetic activity, more reflection and quiet appreciation. Often we discover meaning not just in the moment, but in the time to reflect afterwards. That is when significance deepens, and the experience can be processed and absorbed.
In music, literature and art, so much seems discordant and noisy, exploring extremes, rather than the exquisite tapestry of light and shade in tone and subtlety.
I love the words from psalm 55 verse 6: ‘ Oh that I had the wings of a dove. I would fly away and be at rest.’
It would be such a blessing to have these moment of rest and reflection in every day, and in the rhythm of our week. When we live in a hurry, we might seem to get more done, but we lose part of ourselves. We need moments to breathe, to appreciate, to find space.
As we go into a new session of school and church, may we not go back to old ways of haste and hustle, a scramble to fit everything in. Instead, may we be more selective, asking God for His leading. May we have times to reflect and to pray, to receive the meaning and inspiration of experiences and encounters, and to savour them, and to let them shape our understanding and our being.
Gracious God, Creator of all things, we are told when You created the universe, that the seventh day was a day of rest, when You saw that what was done, was good. However we understand this, we know that times of rest need to be built into the fabric of our lives, times of quiet, of insight of appreciation. Lord Jesus, you often left your disciples and friends, to go to a quiet place to pray. Holy spirit teach us to ensure that in the regular rhythm of our lives, there are times to rest, to pray, to reflect and to be creative. May times of silence enrich and bless our souls, to deepen our understanding, and to strengthen and energise us for the the rest of life. Grant us that quiet wisdom, which illuminates all things, Amen.