Archives for January 27, 2015


philharmonic via

His hair made me laugh. It took on a life of its own when he conducted. It flopped and flailed about his head like a drama queen, and I wondered if he let it grow long especially for this effect. I’ve never seen a bald orchestra conductor, maybe dramatic hair is part of the job description. When I wasn’t staring at the violinists playing their instruments with their entire bodies, I watched his hands. Ok, I watched his hair, but I also watched the timed movement of his hands.

Sweep, lift, swoop, point. None of it made a bit of sense to me. His hands moved to the private machinations of his internal music maker. I tried to watch the movements and see where they corresponded to the music, but every musician on stage seemed engaged in this private conversation between the conductor, their instrument, and the music.

I wanted to enter into the music the way they do, to feel it thrumming away in my temples, to feel it pulsing down into my bones. Having zero musical ability myself, I have to settle for what the music does to my soul. I feel like I’ve grown wings and I’m flying. This almost feels like enough, but I still want to know the secrets behind the hand motions and the instrument’s whispers.

Do you ever feel this way about life? As if private conversations take place all around you, and you desperately want to understand what the world is saying? I want to know what the rainbow speaks to the clouds, what the conductor speaks to the musician, what the owl says to the moon. I feel as if there’s an entire universe to explore just outside the reach of my understanding, right on the edge of my fingertips.

This great big beautiful world is so full of wonder. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again–wonder heals the wanderer’s heart, whether we’re wandering from our ho-hum everyday or from faith or from the unknown. These days, I’m trading wanderlust for wonderlust, and it makes all the difference.