Mess or Music

I’ve been thinking about mess. Messy rooms; messy corners of life.

I have a coaching client who is trying to turn down the noise in her life. Too many demands, too much complexity, too much chaos.

She doesn’t have room to think or breath.

We started with the literal. She cleaned up some messes that had been distracting her: the unscheduled chaos of her family’s school day mornings and evenings.

The noise began to quiet.

And a little magic happened. Maybe it was just a coincidence. She started listening to music again. It was quiet enough – literally and figuratively – for her to hear music again.

I described this magic to another client, a highly successful software engineer. He looked at the mess in his work – the tactical routines that consume his time and distract him from fulfilling, big picture work.

“If I clean up the mess,” he said, pointing to a list of tactical To Dos, “Then I get to hear the music.” The music for him was a metaphor for the intellectually thrilling aspects of his work.

I’ve recently experienced this metaphoric music in my own life. I organized and scrubbed the kids’ playroom, the most beautiful room in our house.

And coincidentally or magically, but completely unexpectedly, I’m drawn there to meditate. I sit in that open, clean, spacious room with the early morning cold lapping around me and the birds’ sleepy wake up calls making music for me.