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The Game

December 5, 2018

“They were marveling at their newly refreshed home over Thanksgiving. They are in the discovery mode we were in when we spent our first year in our new home. Seeing all your surprises, and chortling contentedly over them.”


So said a friend and client this morning about the interior I show here, where a lifetime or two in and existing space is made music with the forest of things those lives found. A home embraces the past, present and future of humans – via the episodic effort of others.

When we come together, not out of love, but of mutual utility, shared mission, getting things done, the effort often overrides the outcome. I look back and I see, now, many moments frozen in their time.

In the intensity of creation the joy is so deep it is often unnoticed. Untalking framers create a thing we draw, like these today, below. We all live a life that makes something out of unrelated bits. They make life from the smaller lives of the things they combine: like every life, but more joyous, to me, in some things.


In every team, every orchestra, class or institution, often families – the combination and creation of things is an effort of unknown exultation. A son played football, as I did. We both only begin to fully understand the miraculous loss of fear in becoming more than outprselves when playing was done. Another was in many orchestras – like his brother no more; and the memory of the unification in mission becomes evident in its absence.

The overwhelming connection and unspoken devotion is not assumed: it just is. The miracle of completely distinct things – humans, places, instruments, tools, sound, space, stuff all are made to be brought together, and are incoherent in their beauty until they are done.

Beauty in creation is lost on the creators, until they can look, see, hear, remember – and know it was not just effort, it was realization.

Heaven is a foolish focus. It is hope, but it simply is not here or now. Just like Hell. Anything we cannot disprove is possible, but why should I spend a minute about thinking of playing again, when I would be dead in one play? But I do. Everyone who has done these things, does.

Flashbacks of joy get more starting when the joy remembered is more distant, But dreams are as real as heaven is not in our lives.  Maybe heaven is that joy we cannot have. The continuous, unresolved effort that combines hope into making something. No age, no names, no money – just effort.

Playing, making, doing together: with no world to judge, grade, laud or troll. Just the effort, together, forever.

I know, stupid.

But without the memory of meaning we have no hope that life is sustainable. Beauty is the spice, but when it is ours, we feast upon it. Yesterday and tomorrow do not matter. Unlike encountering a result that is beautiful: a baby, a view, spring water, love, the joy of beauty in our common effort has a meaning that is lost until it is found.

Perhaps the silence of my youth in a group of folk joined in fear and anger made these things more special for me. But my joy in the making, revealed by its outcome, seems to be part of all of us.

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