Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Singing Your Song Now

I came across this quote by Rabindranath Tagore this week. It took my breath away:

"I have spent my days stringing and unstringing my instrument while the song I came to sing remains unsung."

My whole body sighed a deep, "Yes."

In a culture where we stay in and return to school often well into our adult years (something I think is a wonderful priviledge and great gift) we can fall into endlessly preparing for the thing that calls to us, feeling we need to learn more, train more, perfect the stringing and unstringing of our instrument. Oh, of course, there are times when we need prerequisite skill development or eduction, and the feedback from a valued mentor can be invaluable in deepening necessary skills.

But what's that great John Lennon line? "Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans."

On some level, if we feel called to do something we deeply value, we may never feel "ready enough." But at some point, noticing that the days and weeks and years are passing, remembering that none of us knows how much time we have, we really do need to begin, trusting that we will learn what we need as we go.

This kind of quote keeps me writing, working on a new book when I wonder if I should be doing more research, taking another course or waiting until some idea or story is more completely formed. But I have been stringing and unstringing my bow often enough since the last song was sung, the last book was written.

There is some song that will only be sung because each of us is here. If we find it, may we have the courage to sing it now.

Oriah (c) 2013 


  1. Thank you, Oriah.

  2. I am an old woman with no spiritual training, one who has searched and come to understand many things on my own, as led by Spirit.
    I simply make this comment: sometimes the song we are trying so desparately to sing may be the wrong song, or played by the wrong instrument, something that is not the true calling deep within. May we each find a way to sit and listen to the music within us with no expectations or preconcieved notions of what we may hear. Maybe we will know when it is right because there will be a lightness to our step, a sigh deep within that lifts the weight from our shoulders, and our whole being cannot help but sing.BrendaP

    1. Sadly, I think this is often true- we try to sing the song we THINK we want to sing or the song we have been taught we SHOULD sing. Sometimes it takes awhile to learn to listen deeply for the song that springs from deep within. :-)

  3. Oriah,

    There is a song in each of us that yearns to be sung, and perhaps more than one. I have sung a few along the way and am in the process of singing my swan song.I have been tuning my instrument for over 35 years and the song is soon to be sung. I will sing the first few bars on the podium when I receive my Ph.D in just over a year when I turn 72. Life is good. Education is great!


    1. Wow Fritz- that is inspiring- truly. I love studying and will no doubt return throughout my life. In fact the studying I do is not so much about "preparing" as the love of learning itself- which I am sure is true for you as well.

  4. Wow Fritz, congratulations, you are a real role model! Thank you!

    Oriah, thanks for this post, arriving just in time. Today some change occurred in my life and I have to make decisions. I will listen to the song inside of me.

  5. You both inspire me. I write and study to learn what I am ment to write. I've gone back to school just to dig into great literature, just to reconstruct a character or phrase. Song lyrics speak to me. When will I begin to write in my voice? I am 59 and it's time to be open to just do it. Life does happen when your making plans. Thank you, John. Thanks to those other wild women that brought me here.