There Is No Right Way of Singing…or Dancing…or Living

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In these fractious times, when competing visions of who we are (or should be) seem to separate us more and more, let me offer this short excerpt from Pure Act about a realization Lax came to in the fall of 1973, one of the most significant of his life (Lipsi is a small island near where he lived his later years on Patmos):

As he lingered on Lipsi that fall, he began to see that his vision hadn’t been capacious enough. He had been looking at parts rather than the whole, searching for models rather than an understanding of the greater scheme of things. The oneness of humanity–of all of life–wasn’t something to be sought, he realized, but something to be recognized and embraced. The life flowing in his veins had been flowing in veins since the beginning of time or longer. The enduring nature of life was the important thing to understand:

the continuity of life is
its meaning: it begins from
eternity & flows to eternity

there is no right way of
singing a given song: but
all ways are more or less

the variations of tone we
bring to our roles give life
its color: whether we will (to)
or not, we add variations

there is no one character in
whom the Lord would dwell &
not in others

he who dances in the middle
of the room, dances for me;
he who sits in the corner
watching, watches for me

…it is not that our lives
should so radically change,
but rather our understanding
of them

–pp. 320-321, Pure Act: The Uncommon Life of Robert Lax