Monday, August 13, 2012

{easy contentment}

gnzBfw on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs
i've finally figured it out, i think. it came to me while i was walking down 13th toward the park for the first night of folk festival, kicking at rocks and picking at a hangnail on my thumb. my brain was sparking and fizzing and short-circuiting and every blood vessel was pumping twice as hard, twice as fast as usual.

live music. it gets me all wound up. i've never thought about why before, because i just assumed that that's what live music does. to everyone. like, sun makes you hot, caffeine makes you jumpy, live music gets you all wound up.
Photobucket but then i found out that that's just not true; that there are people in the world who would just as soon sit at home and pet a cat as go to a show. {it's true, i met a person like this the other day.}

but the point is not that.

the point is that as i turned the corner onto retallack street and glanced behind me at a man pushing a stroller with, presumably, a baby inside, i realized all at once why live music is so appealing to me.
Photobucket it's like this:

i believe that it is completely possible to be perfectly content in whatever life stage or situation you find yourself in. i also believe that this is not a natural leaning for most people, that most human beings spend their entire life trying to be/get/do something they are not/have not/haven't done. contentment takes work. it's something you learn and strive towards, even when life doesn't hand you exactly what you want on a silver platter. {i would even argue that perfect contentment is sometimes more perfect when you haven't gotten what you wanted in the first place, but learn to be content without it.}


i have found a little pocket of time where i am completely and perfectly content without even meaning to be, without even thinking about it. where my face just smiles by itself and i couldn't be put off if i tried. it doesn't matter what stage of life i'm in or what is going on in the minutes, hours, days, before or after. it's like a bubble in the ocean, a tiny little moment with none of the things inside of it that fill everything outside of it.

and that, in case you're just not following, is when i'm sitting right in the middle of a big cloud of notes and chords, watching the music being made right in front of me, shoulder to shoulder with a lot of other people who feel the same way about it. my mind, which never stops running, stops running. i can't talk loud enough to carry on a conversation, so i don't. it's like being asleep, but in a much more awake way.
and so that night at the festival, as i looked up at the stars and imagined the sound waves crashing up and out into the night sky, i savoured the easy contentment and remembered to say thank-You for it.


  1. Lovely. Perfectly lovely. Your live music is my used book store. I get it.

  2. So cool that you enjoy live music so much...I haven't gone to many live shows (really only 3 in my life) but I'm generally one of those people who'd rather sit at home. Maybe it's just because I didn't do it a lot as a youngin? That and I'm always worried about Robbie, who can't stand or sit for long periods of time because of his back and hates crowds.

  3. yeahhhhh. you hit the nail on the head with this one! live music is such an emotional experience. i've never thought about why either - but i think your why and my why are one in the same :)

    xx, kara

  4. "i would even argue that perfect contentment is sometimes more perfect when you haven't gotten what you wanted in the first place, but learn to be content without it." oh, thanks for this, really. Thank you! :)

  5. {and thanks debbie for catching that. life lessons i've learned lately.... :)}

  6. This. Oh this is so 100% right and perfect! I feel so alive and so perfectly happy and content when I'm being consumed and washed over with the sound of live music.

  7. This was beautifully written, my friend. And you're absolutely right, contentment is learned and hard and a real fight. Which is why I totally understand that you love the moments when it just slips over you. Beautiful. Keep learning and fighting!

  8. your words painted the most beautiful picture my mind could possibly imagine. I do feel exactly that way when I get to see a live show. Being in the moment and loving each note, letting the calm wash over you. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in that moment. awesome post suzy!


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