Self Improvement

You’re Supposed to Sing while the Music is being Played

I’m a huge fan of the work of Alan Watts, especially his talks on the radio series and lectures he did back in the day. He had the ability to take philosophy and make it accessible – he was hip, eloquent, and witty, capable of bringing esoteric topics down to earth for the rest of us. Simply amazing.

I recently ran across this short animation set to part of one of his talks, and one of the last things he says in it really struck a chord in me, as I’ve been feeling lately like I’ve been missing the point in my life:

“We miss the point, the whole way along: It was a musical thing, and you were supposed to sing, or to dance, while the music was being played.”

I’m vowing to begin singing and dancing in my life, while the music is playing.

Instead of waiting for that mythical reward, that elusive ‘destination’ where I feel I’ve really made it, where I’m done and perfected and awesome, I’m gonna enjoy now. Because I don’t think I really have before – I’m always chasing something that I can’t get or that doesn’t exist.

But I already have plenty of amazing people and things and experiences in my life, and when I remember how fortunate, how blessed, how truly gifted my life really is, I feel silly that I’m not more of a participant in this ‘musical’ performance.

I just drifted more and more toward being a spectator, an observer, and a critic in life, until one day I woke up and realized that that’s not who I am. Somewhere along the line I made a decision, maybe by default or inaction, but a choice still the same, and I realize now that it’s been the source of a lot of anger and frustration and loneliness in my life.

I’m so done with that.

From now on, I’m dancing. I’m singing.

And I don’t give a damn what anyone thinks about it. Neither should you.

Are you in?

[If you’ve not had the pleasure of hearing Alan Watts speak before, check out Who Was Alan Watts for more links, listen to the free audio here, or there’s some good stuff on YouTube as well.]

Derek Markham

Things I dig include: simple living, natural fatherhood, attachment parenting, natural building, unassisted childbirth (homebirth), bicycles, permaculture, organic and biodynamic gardening, vegan peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips, bouldering, and the blues. Find me elsewhere at @NaturalPapa, @DerekMarkham, Google+, or RebelMouse.

One thought on “You’re Supposed to Sing while the Music is being Played

  • What a PERFECT video and your wonderful words to go with it! I needed this at this exact point in my life 🙂 Cheers! ~Lynn


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