Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Paul Kavitz's Day Off (Part 2)

My Day Off, August 2012

Pages 1 2

In mid-August of this year, after making the difficult decision to opt out of a spontaneous week-long vacation on a Disney Cruise to Alaska, I applied myself instead to pressing operational necessities.  My home needed to shift from Summer chaos to Autumn structure, ready to receive our new au pair and send the kids to school.

While this was a task that always fell to me this time of year, what was unusual this time is that I had the house all to myself.  Wow.

Making the seasonal shift went swifly without having to simultaneously manage the daily family life-support system.  I was able to exercise, progress all my work projects, AND even deliver online scorecards to all the athletes at the Wildwoods triathlon.  Talk about Getting Things Done.

By the time Friday rolled around, all of my big-ticket commitments had been ticked off the list, so I jump in the car early and head for my regular morning swim at the YMCA.  Water and workout feel great, and I begin my drive to the office in an enthusiastic and motivated mood.  Listening to NPR Morning Edition, WAMU airs a little segment on the DC theatre season, and what do you the background, they're playing THAT SONG from the She's Having a Baby trailer.

I absorb the music again and it rekindles my ambition to find the name.  Serendipity had offered her reminder of my intention on a day when I can actually do something about it.  I glance at the clock on the dashboard and at 9:30am I tell myself "TODAY IS THE DAY THAT I'M GOING TO FIND OUT THE NAME OF THAT SONG!"

By 9:30pm I'm heading upstairs to read Dr. Mark Hyman's "The UltraMind Solution" and as my foot touches that first step I stop in shock.  The entire day has elapsed and I have spent absolutely NO time looking for that song.  My quarter-century intention that had languished on my 'Someday' list was about to be shelved once again, even though 'Someday' had actually come.

So instead of going upstairs, I turn around and sit down at my computer to revisit my question.  At first, I try the same old approach of searching for the teaser/trailer video segment on Youtube.  Nothing.  Again.  Exasperated, I just type this question into the google search field: "What is the name of that song from the She's Having a Baby trailer?"

What do you was that simple.  The 6th result referenced a nearly identical question in 2004 by 'Saluco' on Adtunes.  Apparently the identity of this song had also haunted others, including Saluco.  My hairs stood on end.

The simple reply by 'Sophist' was "Music for a Found Harmonium" by Penguin Cafe Orchestra.

I just stared at that line for a long while, unsure at first... finding myself apparently and suddenly at the end of my quest.  Slowly, deliberately, I opened Spotify and typed this title into the search bar and in less than 2 seconds, I was but one click away from confirming whether this was the answer I had sought.

It was.

Once the eerie opening chord was finally joined by that unmistakable orchestral fugue, I knew that I knew this song.  At last.

And this knowledge was accompanied by the remarkable taste of a new varietal of emotions:  Sublime satisfaction, relief, self-esteem, joy.  The confidence that even vintage loops can be closed.

Something unlocked in me to close another open-loop legacy...

Within a week, I found the Academy Award winning animation, "The Man Who Planted Trees" whose title I had been looking for nearly as long.  This is the fictional story of Elzéard Bouffier who transformed a barren landscape into a wellspring of abundance with his patient dedication to a task.  He was one of God's [endurance] athletes, and showed "that man could be as effective as God in tasks other than destruction."

These discoveries of music and classical storytelling were swiftly incorporated into my life, serving as an agent for growth and shaping my children's world experience.  Penguin Cafe Orchestra's most popular piece, "Perpetuum Mobile" became Ella and Ethan's favorite for the entire month of September.

These two very small, seemingly inconsequential discoveries began to unlock other possibilities with other intentions...

Other 'Someday' loops, relative youngsters of only 7-years old, were closed before Autumn ended.  I finally went to a performance at Wolf Trap (how easy was that) to see 'The King and I' with my mom.  Really only 10 minutes of organizational effort, but the real trick was allowing myself to go.

Then, in early October I went sailing on Annapolis Harbor.  I have loved sailing all my adult life, with excursions across two continents.  However since returning from Australia seven years ago, I had lost touch with this passion.  As the craft departed the mooring and sliced between water and wind, I once again experienced that unique, deep and spiritual pleasure.  I committed to integrating sailing into my lifestyle and bring this to my kids.

By closing these lingering 'Someday' loops, more room opens inside of me.  Possibilities emerge.  Imagination blooms.  Life and growth awaken.

So my advice to myself, and to you my dear reader, is this:  The tyranny of the urgent is always upon us.  There will always be a reason to defer that seemingly small intention on the 'Someday' list, and if you keep doing that, Someday will never come.

But if you can give yourself the day off, try taking an open-loop intention off the 'Someday' list and do the next action to make it real.

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago.  The second best time is now.


Anonymous said...

Curious..did you live in Houston before Australia??

Paul Kavitz said...

Why yes, as it so happens. Who might you be, mysterious anonymous interloper from my past? :)