Hear The Harp

774. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

A man played the harp on the ferry crossing today. He sat with his small harp on one of the long benches that run along the windows. He started playing and a crowd joined him on the bench. Some gathered on the neighboring benches. The usually noisy ferry quieted. People stared out the window, transported. Occasionally he paused and answered a question or two. We learned that the type of harp he played was in existence a thousand years ago. On this rainy day I imagined someone long ago playing a harp, ancestor to this man’s harp, the music weaving a spell while Avalon disappeared into the mists.

A boys’ baseball team stormed into the area and fell silent almost immediately. It was as if the music infused the air with a potion. Some of the boys sat. Others retreated to the other end of the ferry. I rested my head against the window and stared into the rainy Sound, grays and greens rushing by, the motion of the boat rocking us. The Sound has been here much longer than this type of harp but it took the harp for me to take notice. In the United States of America it is easy to forget that we tread on ancient ground. Our constructions are too new. We build things not to last. When everything is a resource time only runs into the future. For a moment I glimpsed the eternity in the ancient waters we crossed.

It is April. It is unseasonably cold and wet and gray. The harpist played a tune he had composed but it sounded medieval, something from the fairy folk. It was trance music. It was deep forest music. I was suddenly no longer in the 21st century but some other place, some other time, and this harpist was either calling me from the mists or wooing me into them. Or both. The metaphors were stacking, the passage of life a short ferry ride, living and dying and traditions and magic and music that binds us in the hearing.

Later, in my studio, I was listening to the radio and the interviewer asked this question: “Why should the government give money to something that can’t be measured?” It is a sure sign that we are lost when we come to believe that the most valuable things in this life are those things that can be measured. Metric madness is everywhere I look. There is no metric that can measure the true value of art just as there is no metric that can measure learning. Relationship cannot be measured. It can only be experienced. True value cannot be codified. How much does your life cost? What is the value of your limited time here? The insurance companies have an actuary table that reduce you to dollars and sense if it is a measurement that you need. We are lost. In that moment I wished that my harpist could play and call us forward from of the mist.

3 Responses

  1. I do not know if it’s just me or if everybody else encountering problems with your website. It appears as though some of the text on your posts are running off the screen. Can somebody else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them too? This could be a issue with my browser because I’ve had this happen before.


    • I’ve been asking some folks to tell me what they see and I think it is your browser….so far no one else is reporting any problems. Thank you for letting me know (in case I was having blog issues….)

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