Yesterday I was in Budapest Hungary. What a beautiful city; hints of the glory of the former empire can be spied in its exquisite architecture. Of course the war and then decades of communist rule have, I presume, changed its face forever.
I had the great privilege to attend a concert of the Budapest Festival Orchestra conducted by the phenomenal Ivan Fischer. I had a seat, behind the orchestra, so right in front of the maestro. It was amazing to watch. Just as the concertmaster took her violin, or the flutist her flute, or the cellist his cello, Fischer’s instrument was clearly his body. It appeared that not even one single movement was contrived by the great conductor. Each movement seemed to arise as a natural extension of the music, the vibration, as it continued to be born from somewhere inside him. Different parts of the conductor’s body moved effortlessly in response to the music that he was hearing/feeling inside and as it was liberated via his body, the orchestra voice responded and we the audience were literally blown away by Brückner’s 4th Symphony in E-flat.
So that’s the background context to what I want to share today.
After the concert I was invited to attend a party where the orchestra came together along with their family and friends. I want to share about a conversation I had with one particular young woman there. My sense after was that I went there to meet her…why and for what I have no idea and it doesn’t matter really, it is part of the beauty of a life that I am truly learning to enjoy in each moment. I have a strong sense of where I am going but the path by which I travel there is a dance I am learning and delighting in along the way.
The conversation with this beautiful young woman was so uplifting as she shared with me her bold ‘life shift’. From being at the top of her game in the art world, she has gone back to university to study law and without a clear idea as to why or how she will apply it. She is open to discovering the why as life unravels. Both of us were in a kind of bubble, which for me was born out of a similar energy as I described with Fischer earlier. We neither of us had an agenda. We weren’t pretending or proving anything. We didn’t want anything from each other. There was simply a receptivity of listening and a curiosity of coming to know. Something beautiful was being born in that encounter.
It was unique in that it doesn’t happen all the time, but I asked myself - “why not?”. The very relaxed nature of being, of trust, of coming from the inside out, of listening to guidance from within and letting the music of our lives echo outwards moment by moment. I think this is called innocence and it is deeply connected to Presence. There is wonder, awe, delight, discovery and timelessness imbued in such an experience. I think that is what is called living. And it is so very natural and so very simple.
We don’t have to know the future when we are connected into the present. The present brings us the confidence that all is well and that life is very good. That it is joyful, that we can trust it and ourselves, and that just as a great symphony has its perfect order of notes and phrasing, our lives are no less. Imagine a world where each one moves with the music of life that is being uniquely born from within each one. Trusting the dance of interaction, under the baton of time and space.