The Art of Life

Grand TetonsI know! It's been six weeks since I've been in touch!  You probably thought I had fallen off the ends of the earth - except, none of you, that I know of, is a member of the "Flat Earth Society."  I've been out of communication because I have fallen off the ends of living my life in a lodgical, reasonable, predictable way, and am throwing myself head-long into The Great Art of Life!

I once heard that "all art is really just an analogy for The Great Art of Life." During the last six weeks of living creatively, we have migrated to Jackson, WY; I've written nine songs; have done a photo shoot and interview for a National Music Magazine; and have started a regular gig on Saturdays at brunch time - 10:30am - 1:30 pm at a cute little cafe called "Cafe Boheme:"where artists, athletes, and intellectuals Jazz Postergather for good food, better ideas, and great music! What can I say? They serve lemon crepes and have the best coffee and croissants I've every tasted!

In addition, we have a new music director at church and I am active in the music program there as well as my regular Monday night Jackson  Hole Hootenanny.  The Great Art of Life sometimes takes a lot of energy! I've missed not connecting to my friends, though, and it feels good to be back in touch.

The expression: "all art is really just an analogy for the great art of life," was beautifully illustrated to me yesterday.  I was witness to the first swimming lesson of 10 tiny ducklings in our front pond.  The patience of "mother duck" was inspiring. There were several "stages" to this experience so there would be ample time for the ducklings to adjust to their new skills and environment.

Mom and babiesThe ducklings were huddled close around  mom for at least the first 45 minutes that I was witness to this experience.  Then they stood around the edge where there were rocks and they could dip their webbed feet into water.  Then mom ventured into the edge of the water where her feet were on the rocks and the little ones gathered around her in the shallow water and rocks area.

Mom showed the little ones how to stick their beak into the grassy water to get whatever tasty tidbits they could find - one duckling repeatedly thrilled at its ability to venture out from the flock and swim back again.  He was obviously greatly impressed with his new-found freedom. His little webbed feet were taking him places he never realized before that he could go!

In the WaterThe mother duck swam a little further away from the edge with ducklings following her. Our adventurous duckling was have a great time swimming several feet away, then back again.  Mom spent the next two and a half hours swimming to various parts of the pond as the ducklings experimented with their swimming and snacking abilities and following her each time.  They would all "hang out" there for awhile and then move on to other environs: shallow, deep, grassy, rocky. I didn't see them leave, and experienced a bit of loss this morning when I did not see them there in the pond.

Taking this sweet lesson from nature, I think of times when I have stayed  hunkered down in a secure, safe little environment wondering how far I could go if I just let myself take a risk and venture out a little ways.

I remember when I first started out in my music career, most of the time people would say, "Oh, you don't want to do that; it's such a hard life."  I knew they were right, and at the same time I knew that I wanted to sing professionally.  I didn't know why, there was no lodgic to it, and mostly reasons why NOT to do it.  I still don't exactly know why I do it - except that it makes me so happy and so fulfilled. And this has finally become my guide, because lodgic never was able to explain it.

Maybe that is just the nature of learning about the wild places inside of ourselves - like observing the ducklings that learn how to swim and venture into unknown territories. When the wild places inside of ourselves are being explored - the vast wilderness of unknown depth - it allows us to come into contact with the pulsating creative force of the Divine Mystery and the thrill of being alive.