Rhythms bring to mind music that is felt in the body and move us in dance. The pattern repeats and then shifts. We move to the right, slow and then on the upbeat twirl left. Rhythms can be simple or complex. Regular or irregular.
When a poet crafts a poem, rhythm is a basic tool. The beat of the words affects meaning. The cadence builds the feeling. Breaking the pattern suddenly shocks the listener into a new understanding.
Nature has it rhythms. It moves in measured movements. The sun rises then sets. Clouds fill the skies before the rain falls. The early morning light brings the birds to the feeder while the wild horses seek water before the heat of the day.
Our lives have its own complex intertwining rhythms. We’re born and then die. In between there are the various movements – school, work, children, marriage, retirement …
Within each movement the rhythm is a complex dance of daily, weekly, and monthly shifts. Five days a week we rise and dress for work. Kids are sent to school. Lunches packed. Saturdays are for play. Sundays for church. The book club meets on the third Wednesday …
There is a comfort in a regular rhythm. The surety of knowing what happens next. While the dissonant beat is both jarring and exciting. As we move through the stages of life, the rhythm changes and we change our dance of life.
Some changes are easy. Some more complex. Sometimes we stumble as the tune shifts and we try to regain our step.
With retirement, moving to a new city and home I’m finding the change disruptive to creative things I’ve done for years. My new writing space is different and the schedule confused. The wood shop is still in boxes.
It’s that time between movements in the song of life. With every box that is unpacked or piece of furniture placed, a new pattern emerges. Some parts of the new beat are required by the home or family. I haven’t had a lawn in 20 years and now am reliving my youth of lawn mowing each week.
Old rhythms bridging the movements of life.
This is that time in a life when beat is confused, constantly shifting as it prepares to move from one scene to another. These days I find myself spending most of my time preparing the places where I hope to someday spend my time creating things.
Still, we listen for the beat and shift our feet best we can.