Be Chosen

photo-3A few months ago Kerri and I went to look at guitars. The salesman reiterated what she’d already told me: you’ll know it when you see it. It’s personal and not rational. It will choose you. I played several guitars that day and a few more since and have yet to be chosen.

So it was with great wonderment and mirth that yesterday I watched Kerri be chosen. One of the first things I learned about her was that she has a deep river yearning to play the cello. We’ve often talked about it as something that may happen in the distant future, almost as if it was a fantasy or out of reach. In our travels we’ve seen a few cellos for sale that have served to pluck her yearning but nothing more.

Yesterday we went into the local music store to pick up a loaner trumpet for an Easter service. To the left of the register was a cello. It was as if the store and everyone in it disappeared. Dale was unpacking the trumpet to show her when she caught sight of the cello. It was like the sun and she was pulled into its orbit. Dale was in mid sentence when she walked away, touched the cello as if it was her long lost child, and caught her breath. Dale said, “Kerri? Kerri? Do you want to see this?” She was gone, beyond the land of Easter trumpets and caring for the day-to-day. We watched her pluck the strings, listen to tones, and whisper things like, “Ohhhh” and “Ahhhh.”

Dale raised his eyebrows and looked at me. I said, “Wow.”

He closed the trumpet case saying, “This can wait.” We both knew what was happening.

When she returned to earth and the land of Easter trumpets, Kerri peppered Dale with questions about the make of the cello, how it compared to other cellos, what he thought about this particular cello, and if he thought she was crazy to want to play the cello. He kept a remarkably straight face and answered all of her questions. She left the store to think about it but called and asked them not to sell it for 24 hours.

Many years ago I met Arnie for dinner. He’d just been asked to apply for a superintendent’s position and I spent the dinner listening to him tell me all the reasons why he shouldn’t throw his hat into the ring. “It’s a thankless job!” he insisted. “Why would I put myself into such a miserable position!” he thumped the table indignant with himself for even considering the option. We both knew he would do it. We both knew it was his destiny. We both knew he would be offered the job. When he’d exhausted his resistance we laughed and acknowledged what we both knew. He got the job and transformed the district. In transforming the district, he transformed himself.

When Kerri left the music store I felt as if I was having dinner with Arnie all over again. She told me all of the reasons why she shouldn’t get it. She listed the thousand and one reasons why it made no sense. She told me all of the things that she could do with the time and money that it would take to own and learn the cello. And when she’d exhausted her resistance, we laughed and acknowledged what we both knew. She had been chosen. This was her cello and it would give her life and light her creative fire.

Later, after bringing the cello home, we talked about how the important moments in life rarely make sense. Sense making is the province of the known; sense making is backward looking. The transformational moments are transformative precisely because they make no sense, precisely because they require a step away from what is known. From the point of view of sense, transformation seems ludicrous.

This is why art never makes sense. To be vital it is not supposed to make sense. Art is meant to pull you into the unknown where a cello can call your name.

Go here to get my latest book, The Seer: The Mind of the Entrepreneur, Artist, Visionary, title_pageSeeker, Learner, Leader, Creator…You.

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One Response

  1. Wow. Hallelujah! And congrats, dear Kerri, on your new baby. I can only imagine the joy.

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