Dear Friends, Fans & Family....
We are looking forward to singing and playing in the Pacific Northwest the next couple of weekends. Please check our calendar for specifics about Portland and Seattle. We would love to see you at any or all of these events!
In the meantime, here at home, both JD and I find ourselves in the not-unfamiliar land of In Between. June and early July was all about the fabulous family wedding in Scotland (photos coming eventually.) And by mid-September we will be fully in the swing of back-to-school kid lessons, recording sessions, and traveling gigs….making more music, hatching up new schemes. But lately we’ve been in between major obsessions, resting in the valley between peak performances. You might say we’re feeling a bit of a lull. Not the doldrums. Not stagnation. Just having a little down time.
Of course, here in the United States of America we are taught to be UP, not down. Most of us have been programmed to make something of ourselves, to excel constantly, to be productive at all costs. Like, all the time. And we are supposed to figure out IN ADVANCE exactly where we want to go, and how to get there: In short, we’re told to be assertive, quit sniveling, and get our ducks in a row. Seriously? Ducks in a row? With all that chaotic quacking? I don’t think so. Anyway, getting your ducks in a row sounds a lot like herding cats. Or trying to teach a pig to sing: it doesn’t really work, and it annoys the pig.
When you are exhausted you should rest. When you are ready to move ahead you will, and you can make corrections as you go. And things will line up behind you.
Here’s a true story: A couple of weeks ago as I was driving home down Highway 82 in a pretty steady stream of traffic, I saw up ahead that the cars in my lane were putting on their brakes, coming to a full stop to avoid something in the middle of the road. I could see a small feathery clump there on the center stripe, which I hoped was not something dead, but which turned out to be a mama duck, very much alive, with a bunch of baby ducklings huddled around her, not knowing what to do. The mama was clearly freaked out by all the commotion, trying to decide whether it would be better to turn around and run back where she came from, or to press on and chance making it all the way across the road. There was a panicky moment of indecision when nothing happened. Then I saw cars up ahead in the oncoming lane, heading straight for the duck family. I’m sure that every single driver in our lane was saying No No No, don’t hit the ducks!
And then, as if orchestrated by some great benevolent invisible traffic cop, all the cars in both lanes slowed down and stopped right there in the midst of rush hour traffic as the mama duck headed bravely for the far side of the road. She just did what she had to do, forging ahead, and all the babies got in line and followed her in perfect single file, all 8 of them, waddling adorably, hurrying briskly along, following her in absolute order all the way to safety. They made it! And we all cheered for her. Clearly she had her ducks in a row.
But the thing is, the ducklings were following behind her, not in front of her. She took the initiative, the leadership role, and everything lined up perfectly in her wake. After the fact, not before it! I don’t think that mama duck had to threaten her babies in advance, or bludgeon her intentions into perfect order ahead of time so that she could get where she wanted to go. She just took off, and her precious cargo followed along behind her.
The moral of the story for me is: Don’t beat yourself up if you’re in an in-between place. Maybe you need to cocoon for a while. Or maybe you can do something fairly mindless like cleaning out the sock drawer or organizing the kitchen cabinets. And then, when it’s time to go, (like when you’re in the middle of the road or the middle of a crisis…or even a great inspiration) you go, and in the process, ta da, you get your ducks in a row.
Here’s a goofy tune about a similar thing: See My Way Through. “I loosen up the boundaries, and I lighten up my load. I expect the best and I bless the rest, and I get on down the road.” Happy trails.
Love from Jan & JD
Click here for details of these and all coming events
• August 29
Concert, Unity of Portland
• August 30
Music & Message at Unity of Portland
• September 6
Music & Message at Unity of Kent
• October 4
Music & Message at Unity Spiritual Center of San Francisco
San Fransico, CA
• October 18
Music & Message at Two Rivers Center for Spiritual Living
Grand Junction, CO