A Metronome Life

metronomeI’m working on a piano piece that I first heard in a music appreciation class at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. It’s played very s-l-o-w-l-y and it’s been making me a little nuts. It starts simple, gets a little complicated then goes back to simple. The complicated bits feel faster because there are more notes; kinda like when life feels so fast because you’re so busy. I keep losing my pace, mostly going too fast over the simple bits.

So I downloaded a metronome app that clicks out a selected steady rhythm. It’s kinda tough to work with because I have to split my focus. My fingers get all tangled up and my brain can’t make up it’s mind what to pay attention to. Eventually, you get everything all sorted out. Brilliant!

The thing is, my piano teacher Ann says it’s not a good idea to rely on a device to keep your rhythm for you. It can give your music a slight robotic sound. Music, and its audience, need to rest a bit between passages.

That’s kinda like life. Major events need to rest on your soul before you charge off to the next big thing.

When I chose to leave the work force in 2004, it took me a year to reset my personal rhythms, to feel comfortable in the new shape of my life. It was definitely upsetting, but I allowed myself to pause, to assess where I was and where I wanted to be.

What about you? Do you pause at life’s passages? Or is this all just a bunch of nonsense?

 

metronome image by Vincent Quach (Invincible) – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

© Joan Leacott 2019

3 comments

  1. I love this comparison, Joan – not nonsense!

    As a band geek (flute player from 6th grade through 12th in marching and concert bands), I am a friend of the metronome.

    My life is doing the same as you described when you left work. Our family has been in a predictable march for the past fifteen years with our boys through their school years. They start school in August, have Thanksgiving and Christmas off…spring break too. Then that school year ends, we enjoy a sunny summer, and get ready to start it all over again. Sports were sprinkled in through the seasons.

    But, in August, my youngest left for college. This school year started a whole different cadence to our family life. My oldest has a good job and is getting ready to move out. Soon we’ll be empty nesters for most of the year.

    The new rhythm of life has been jarring. Maybe it’ll take me a year, too, to reset my life metronome. This year will be a my pause to reset and assess.

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