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Find Your Fire

music miscellany Jul 22, 2018

Suddenly her soul was on fire. It had been a long weekend, and she was clearly worn out from information overload. It looked to me like she had reached her limit. But then came the fire. She wasn’t just engaged or interested. She was alive. She was on fire.

This past weekend I attended and taught at the Somerset Folk Harp Festival in New Jersey. Hundreds of harp players gathered to listen, learn and share their love of the folk harp. The assemblage of so many world-class performers and teachers super-charged the atmosphere. It was exhilarating.

It’s possible to sustain that energy level only so long, though, and so when I noticed my student showing the effects of the long day, I understood. But I was wrong.

One minute it looked as if she were about to nod off, and the next moment she came alive. I don’t remember the point in the workshop when it happened, but I saw her regain her fire.

As she joined in the discussion, it became clear that she was far from exhausted. She was driven, inspired by a passion for the instrument, for learning and for music. She had a fire in her soul that would sustain her when frustration threatened, when distractions conquered resolve, whenever the going got rough.

That kind of fire is contagious. On this day it spread through the room, sparing no one. We all caught it, this feeling that where we were at that moment was just where we were supposed to be. We were doing what we were meant to do and sharing the moment together.

That kind of fire lives in all of us every day. We don’t always notice it; it tends to hide behind the load of daily tasks and diminish to a spark when difficulties come between us and our goal. It is rare that it is extinguished completely, but we need to fan the flame regularly.

What sets your soul on fire? What piece of music makes your heart sing? Which puts the rhythm in your feet and makes you long to dance across the room?

Take a moment today to nourish your inner fire. Play or listen to a favorite piece. Make music with a friend. Share your music with someone you love.

For just today, play without worrying about the mistakes or the things you could do better or the chores you should be doing instead. Play for the love of music. Feed your fire today. You can practice tomorrow.

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