Last weekend I went to the Paul Simon concert at SDSU.  It was splendid,  hanging out with my best friend, enjoying the happy crowd of fans of Simon's amazing musical talent.  During the concert I found myself watching with great interest and listening with care to each different musician as music filled the arena with intoxicating sound.  I studied the piano player during one song, but I really couldn't hear specific notes the piano keys produced.  Similarly, I could see small percussion instruments being played but to pick out each individual sound was difficult.

But I mused as I sat there enthralled by the music, that if those notes were not played it would have been a perceptible absence; because every instrument has a purpose. Composers know what they want to attain by the marriage of note to instrument.   While the sounds being produced were by no means equal in volume, I don't think one instrument was really more important to the tune than any other in terms of the harmony being produced.  The music was layered; each sound mattered to the entirety of the piece being performed.  The song would have been diminished had even one tiny note from a xylophone been left out.

Seeing an instrument being played but not being able to pick out the notes that night made me think about the small but important opportunities we have every day to add to the symphony of life going on around us.  Perhaps these small gestures or notes, if you will, seem at first to be unnecessary when contrasted to the din that life can produce; but I think we miss something if we don't try and add to the kindness, the beauty, the harmony of those with whom we share our busy world.

So I decided I'd play thank you notes today and contribute to the symphony of the ordinary day. I want to be one of the band members whose notes make a difference in every verse of the tune, even if it's as subtle as a plink of a xylophone.

I want to say thank you to every person who will touch my life today.  And tomorrow. And tomorrow's tomorrow. That's the instrument I want to play; the one that plays thank you notes.  Because I think if I leave even one little thank you note unplayed, I would be to neglecting my part in the symphony:  I don't want to contribute to a lonely sound of silence.




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Tags: Chris Shea, La Mesa


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