The whole is more than the sum of the parts ― Aristotle
For some time now, I have been thinking about what it would look like if we approached all of life with a song in our hearts and rhythm in our feet, being mindful of the melody that we are a part of. What would a whole life look like if it were washed in musicality?
I doubt that it would require us to sing all day long (though that might be rather entertaining) or to ensure that the next supper appears with endless rhymes or oddly coloured protein sources that we resist vehemently or that we skip to our next meeting. But it might.
Far from being esoteric, living life with musicality simply means to live with contentedness, measuring every part of life not with dollars but with sense – a sense of thankfulness, purpose and people-ness.
What would it bring to our work, life and communities to be truly in tune inside and out? Maybe we should skip to the next meeting (at least in our hearts). Maybe we should serve a whimsical supper and read a great book to our children while we eat. Maybe we should sing, especially when we are not natural singers.
When I was a teenager, I sat in church beside my Dad, who sang off tune. He always sang, it was joyful for him. Later on, I also remember hearing an older lady sing with all of her being almost entirely out of tune, a song with deep meaning to her and to me. I still get tears in my eyes thinking of the beauty that I was privileged to hear. The other day, I heard a teenage boy singing out of tune at the top of his lungs, thankfully lyrics that were appropriate, and it was endearing. My ears heard the tuning (or lack thereof), but my heart measured the passion and authenticity of each of these melodies.
All day long, I love to hear a real voice singing real things with real passion. I would like to think I’m not alone in this sentiment. That doesn’t mean that the pursuit of excellence is not valuable, it just means that it’s only one part of the whole. And the proportions of each part are different for each person without taking away their intrinsic value.
Authenticity requires investing heart, soul, mind and body in everything whenever possible. That’s holistic living and that is the musicality that I am working toward. I’m not striving to be perfect – that’s just not practical and might be quite annoying. What I am working toward is the unity, the wholeness, the “melodiciousness” of my life (Yes, that word is a brand new word – combining luscious and melodious. I am old enough to choose to make up a new word if it adds joy and meaning to my life and young enough to celebrate that new word in royal fashion! But, I digress)
Art is more than colour, texture and line. Music is more than rhythm and melody. Work is more than paper and productivity. How about you or me? Are we not more than our productivity, more than what we produce, more than our job titles or our worldly possessions? Of course we are!
I think I’m going to skip to my next meeting (at least in my heart). How about you? What are you going to do today as you work toward your own sense of “melodiciousness”?