Monday, December 21, 2009

The joy and rapture of questions

QuestionsImage by Oberazzi via Flickr
People who read my blog know I'm a big fan of questions. And that I obsess over, well, everything


Because the only way to find out more is to ask more. And if we're not willing to ask ourselves questions, then we run the risk of walking around in life in a state of automatic. 

As music therapists, if we don't learn how to ask ourselves bigger and better questions (it really seems to be about learning how to ask ourselves better questions, I think), then our work stagnates. 

And we stop paying attention.

So I thought it was interesting (okay, yes, and delightful) that, in one day, I happened on two rather interesting items related to questions. I thought you might enjoy them as well, so I'm sending you along to have your own questioning party.

Here's where to go:

1. One is an excerpt from the book, The Interrogative Mood: A Novel? by Padget Powell. The entire thing  seems to be written in the form of a series of questions! And they're great questions! I've ordered it, and I'm awaiting it with great anticipation.

2. As if there weren't enough glorious questions in that bit of readery, I somehow discovered Jeffrey Tang's blog, The Art of Great Things. And, darn if he didn't just make a case in his most recent post for the good people of the world to ask the difficult questions

In keeping with the spirit of questioning, I have to wonder: What's next?


Adelaide Dupont said...

Mais oui, Roia.

One of my favourite people said: "The only stupid question is the one you don't ask."

Every year The Edge philosophy magazine has a BIG question for anybody and everybody to contribute their answers and thoughts to.

2005's question was What do I believe in which I cannot prove? and 2007's question was What are you optimistic about?

And automatic pilot is not the best way to go around in your life, nor in mine.

Rationality versus rationalisation I could see in the first point of Tang's.

Roia said...

Oh, hooray, Adelaide Dupont (what a lovely name)!

Thank you for sharing your questions as well. I've never heard of the magazine you mentioned, and it sounds like I should go investigate.

One of my favorite quotes (yes, I heart quotes as well) is one I found at a craft show in a frame, of all places:

"Be patient toward all that is unresolved in your heart...try to love the questions themselves.... Do not seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them.... Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing, live...into the answers." (Rainer Maria Rilke)

Dreamingbear said...

"What's next?" is a question I have stopped asking. After this year, I'm not sure I want to know any more.


Roia said...

Yeah, you have had quite a year. Me too.

As such, I can't help but hope 2010 will be a little less...2009. :-)

Jeffrey Tang said...

Hey Roia, just noticed today that you were kind enough to link to one of my posts. Thanks!

I completely agree that, if we allow ourselves to stop asking questions (especially the tricky ones), then we stagnate.

Mindfulness and asking questions go hand in hand - and life is so, so much better when you pay attention!

Thanks again for the link; love to connect/email some time!

Roia said...

Thanks for stopping by, Jeffrey. It was my pleasure to link to your blog. You have good things to say.

Happily, I just got the book I ordered ("The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?"), and I can't wait to start staring at questions.

There's nothing like a bunch of interesting and thought provoking questions to get the old neurons firing happily again.

Yes, please connect up. That would be lovely.

PamelaDraper said...

That quote by Rilke is one of my favorite of all time! Thank you so much for your blog. I am loving your insights and appreciate your perspective. I am a new MT student and am absorbing/synthesizing so much - and loving every second! Happy New Year :)

Roia said...

Oh, Pamela, it certainly is a glorious quote, and I'm glad you agree. It makes life so much easier when people agree with us, doesn't it?

You're quite welcome, and thank YOU for reading away. I notice your Philadelphia affiliation. If I may ask, are you at any of my old alma maters? Temple? Drexel/Hahnemann?

And a happy new year to you too! Good luck in school. It can be crazy, but it eventually ends, and then you get to go forth and be a music therapist. Yay!

Lozzie Cap said...

I read the words, ".. And we stop paying attention" and had to stop myself from yelling out loud - "Yes! Yes! Yes!"

Questions are a symptom of an active mind. And without that there is no way we can make music with people, surely.

soundhealthmusic said...

You have a beautiful, thought-provoking blog.

Questions can lead to unveiling new information, new perspective, a new mind set.

Thanks for adding so much depth to our practice. And your music is equally as thought-provoking. Keep writing, and I'll keep reading :)


Roia said...

Lozzie and Kat-

Right on to the both of you! I can't imagine living my life in a state of being agreeable and non-questioning (although I'm sure there are a number of people who deal with me on a regular basis who kind of wish I would) (Ahem). It just seems so, well, dull. And uninspired.

I'm so glad you both share my love of curiosity and inquisitiveness. Or is it Inquisitivity? Well, you get the point.