Monday, January 12, 2009

Finding Your Note

A short story by William Saroyan is titled "The Man Whose Wife's Hair Was Too Long But Whose Understanding of Music Was Too Short." If you think the title strange, listen to this:

In the story, a husband plays the cello and never changes notes. He just continues to repeat the same note without variation.

His wife is driven to distraction and finally protests: "Why do you play the same note over and over and over again? Other cellists play different notes."

"Other cellists play different notes," her husband replies, "because they are trying to find the right one. I've found mine."

Ahhh, the beauty of finding your note! I think I could like him. Finding your note is something like finding your purpose in life or landing where you need to be.

Philosopher James Allen advised, "Above all be of single aim; have a legitimate and useful purpose, and devote yourself unreservedly to it." He could have said, “Find your note and stay with it.”

I believe that is an important part of being happy. Like Helen Keller says, true happiness is attained “through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”

In music, staking your claim on one note will drive everyone around you nuts. But finding the right note in life, and giving yourself to it, can be a source of unending joy.

-- Steve Goodier

image: Liao