The Principled Stand

Young flutist in the middle of Jerusalem's shuk, Yehuda Mahane market.

Young flutist in the middle of Jerusalem’s shuk, Yehuda Mahane market.

Sometimes the argument is so loud, so endless, so entrenched that you don’t know what to do with yourself. Too many people are shouting. You need some peace. People are pulling you in every direction.   Although your head is spinning and you hardly know who you are anymore, you don’t want to join either camp.   You’d like to be a part, but what can you do? Once you realize how many jerks there are on both sides, you feel better about not adding to the noise.

You stand in the middle of the maelstrom with your feet firmly planted and your heart secure, take a deep breath:  And play.   Yes, play.  Already you feel saner.   You’ve taken a principled stand.   Listening to your own voice lets you open the space and channel larger voices that are wise and profound from beyond you. You can play music with every ounce of your being. Simone Weil would say it’s about attention, stupid. It’s not talent; it’s a kind of prayer. It’s one hundred percent focus.  It’s being human.

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