We are the Dance
As a product of two things: That is, a childhood brought up in the Memphis area and blue collar parents— a work ethic is built into my psyche. There is no escaping it.
If you are also from the same background, I commiserate with you.
Because along with that baggage comes obligatory suffering (often without any perceivable cause).
Worrying about what to do with your hands, what is the next big task to accomplish? Combine that with any sort of drive for perfection, and whew!
So, what do you do?
Seems to me it starts with what you think is right or wrong for you personally.
What is called euphemistically, ‘Your personal best.’ But then, that begs the question: What is right?
What is wrong? Is everything relative? That path leads inevitably to apathy.
Instead, I have been swayed to accept that it starts with a thought—one not original with me (no surprise there): “We are not the dancer, we are the dance.”
So, what does that entail? It means we have the dance within each of us and are not just simple observers…nor even, simply participants. We are the wellspring…we are the dance itself.
It begins with the realization that we are creatures with an internal drive to excellence in some endeavor, some craft or personal gift such as teaching, planning, Continued on Page 5
This comes from contemporary data as well as a study from history.
There are just too many instances of a Jules Verne becoming a novelist instead of a lawyer, as his family wished him to be. Or of Vincent Van Gogh becoming a painter instead of a pastor.
Not that there is anything wrong with being either a lawyer or a pastor.
But not for these two.
Because the world calls for ROBERT HALL (cont.)
people to be required to be educated or regulated or civilized according to social pigeonholing.
However, what if instead of what the world demands of us, we ask first, what is an individual’s natural bend?
I recall as a student that one person in our class—a fella named Mike—could pick up a pencil, a pen, a brush and create a wonder on a piece of paper in class…everyone else came a distant second.
His gift was apparent.
Unlike some of us—myself included—who take time to develop an interest or ease in becoming fluid in doing a task, or multi-tasking in some activity.
The world’s requirements, one could dub ‘secondary’ talents. That is because it is imposed from without.
I know folks like that. There was a good medical doctor many years back that I knew, who was also a master musician and an expert in the life of Beethoven.
He exhibited that secondary talent of medical knowledge. Which for most of us would be all we could handle. But, his initial or ‘primary’ talent had been in music from a very early age.
I hope I have not muddied the waters here with these citations.
Let’s approach the matter a different way: Special insight may not be supplied by humanity in the ‘normal’ course of worldly activities—yet, that is not to say they are not needed.
Actually the opposite is true. The deep needs of humanity are served by individuals who are especially gifted. And the various forms and degrees which people who have of understanding of their time and who by special insight are able to give life relevance… indeed, are able to give an impulse to progress, providing progression for the entire human race.
For instance, in this particular hour, with a world-wide virus coming at us, who among us would deride medical expertise, or scientific skills in the area of treating and curing virus patients?
That is a gift – but only some have it. I recall an acquaintance some time back in my own far-distant past one did not have that gift of medical knowledge.
He came from a family that did and he suffered personally because of his deficiency in that department.
That is not fair either. In his case, a worldly insistence upon him could not bring him to harness his natural talents and gifts in a cohesive way.
In a word, the greatest intensity of genius—if you want to call it that—is that which is natural, which is instinctual. It is an original mind, independent of secondary requirements and worldly demands upon us, which penetrate the clouds of uncertainty, which is precise and guides one to truth which may be imperceptible by others.
You can call it anything you wish: Your own competence, excellence, fate, chance, a gift of God.
But we are endowed by them, these internal paths to greatness…all of us.
How do I know?
Because they always arrive when you least expect them and not when they are artificially imposed by the world. Albert Einstein found his insights during long walks in the country.
Isaac Newton in the golden orb of silence upon reflection in his study.
And you…when will you find your inspiration?
Well, that’s unknowable.
Didn’t you read what I just
Robert L. Hall is a resident of Marion and has a Bachelor’s Degree in music from the University of Memphis and a Master’s Degree from Florida State University. He is the pianist for Avondale Baptist Church and a writer of fiction