Tuesday, November 24, 2015

How to be together

We sat together yesterday, our group of seven, on a Monday afternoon. And the curtains in the room were open to the afternoon sun, closed as the sun blinded us, and then open again to watch the beautiful dark frames of leafless trees against the pink and yellow and blue sky as the sun began to set. And, with the early evening news as a background, we noticed, for ourselves and with each other, our music was made of...

...sound and silence,
terror and safety,
change and consistency,
feeling frozen and being in motion,
comfort and discomfort,
certainty and uncertainty,
sleeping and awake,
light and dark,
presence and absence,
judgment and acceptance,
loud and quiet,
intensity and gentleness,
curiosity and detachment,
containment and freedom...

And then, this morning, I read and listened to this gorgeous conversation between Krista Tippett and Ann Hamilton. When Krista asked her what questions we should be asking, without hesitation, Ann responded:
"...how to be together. I mean, isn’t that — that seems like the biggest question. How to be together." (Ann Hamilton
Yes! And yes again!

There are so many who believe music therapy sessions with people who don't use speech as their first language are about "playing for your clients." In fact, it is about

 and wondering 

"...when you’re making something, you don’t know what it is for a really long time. So, you have to kind of cultivate the space around you, where you can trust the thing that you can’t name. And if you feel a little bit insecure, or somebody questions you, or you need to know what it is, then what happens is you give that thing that you’re trying to listen to away. And so, how do you kind of cultivate a space that allows you to dwell in that not knowing, really? That is actually really smart, and can become really articulate? But, you know, like the thread has to come out, and it comes out at its own pace." (Ann Hamilton)


Laura Cousins said...

Yet again I read your writings and wished that you lived closer. These are the topics and this is the kind of conversation I want to have with you face-to-face.

Roia said...

I am honored and humbled, Laura! I'm sure we'll find a way to connect live and in-person some day. But, for now, Skype?

Meghan said...

This whole post had the sound of Krista's radio voice. A very nice and peaceful read! And it speaks so much of presence. Thanks.

Roia said...

Gosh, Meghan, now that you mention it, I guess it does. I had just spent an hour listening to her interview, so it makes sense. Thanks for your always generous comments! And, while I'm at it, thanks for talking supervision over at Music Therapy and End of Life Care! I read it with tremendous appreciation, but I just hadn't had a chance to comment yet.

Tamara G. Suttle said...

Roia, I've been away too long and now I'm sad to see you're not blogging any more :( Hope your voice resurfaces soon!

Roia said...

Gosh, you're right, Tamara! I've been bananas and have neglected the blog for way too long. Partly it's because I spent the better part of a year writing and revising a chapter for an amazing book (coming out this very Monday, in fact), "Cultural Intersections in Music Therapy." Thanks for giving me a virtual nudge!