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September 3, 2008 / alunatunes

September 3-Father Time


SEPTEMBER 3

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3 1:18

The Teachings of Father Time: How to really beat the clock

For a very long while, I felt Father Time was not on my side. He was certainly not giving me enough hours in the day to create music and take care of managing my own career while holding down a day job to sustain myself and raise my children.  More than that, his minutes and hours pushed and pulled and strained me so, I ended up weak and vulnerable and exhausted. I was allowing myself to be robbed of my most precious asset- the perfect and present NOW. Yesterday is a memory, unchangeable and gone, tomorrow is a thought, not even guaranteed, but NOW is a present, a gift (as the word present implies). It is  truly all we have.

Because a musician’s dream is based in timing and luck we wrap ourselves around the notion that every second of time should be spent in pursuit of our success. We need to be constantly in the path, so when luck comes along our timing will allow us to be picked up by the success train.   We spend every precious NOW planning for what may very well never come to fruition. We miss birthdays, anniversaries, family barbecues, because we’re touring or traveling or rehearsing. Perhaps, more than any other business, we can totally miss our now hinging our hopes on an unpredictable and empty future. We need to invest in the thought that Source’s idea of time and our idea of when things should get done is totally different.

At some point you will age in this business where youth and beauty reign supreme and are often more important than actual talent. It’s easy to fall into the belief that Father Time has passed us by, that our best, most productive years are behind us. That we have nothing left to offer. What we don’t understand is, through the progression of the years, Father Time blesses us with other gifts; practical experience, communication skills and knowledge not gleaned from books but from the classroom of life as a performer or conductor or songwriter.

Father Time taught me it was not in divine order for me to be a performer, but he blessed me with  the practical ability to help others. My first company was a booking agency, born in the spirit of helpfulness and recognizing the need for musicians to write and perform, instead of book and manage. Because I had been a musician, I found myself uniquely qualified to work with them, to understand them and possibly be able to help them.

Father Time’s  wise lessons tell us to stop when our resources run dry, when our fingers stumble over string and key, when we are discouraged or lack direction or can’t even muster a half way decent idea for a song. He is the one who brings sleep over us, tucks us in and removes the pathetically empty lyric notebook from our hands, pulls up the covers and whispers to us to sleep, rest , restore, recharge. He encourages us to dream and to discover.

Today, for just an hour, drop it all. Close the calendar- a very hard concept to tackle when it lies open before you with a proposed cross country tour mapped out in January with only one date booked. And it’s September. Sit perfectly still for five minutes. Don’t look at your watch or clock. Contemplate these words of wisdom from Anne Dillard:

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

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