The importance of the pause

I was going to be lengthy and philosophical tonight, but then I realized that I don’t need to be. Brief and philosophical is even better, yes?

Some of my blogging friends have written about their favorite music, and I’ve followed up on and enjoyed some of their recommendations. My favorite contemporary band is and always will be the Moody Blues (OK, contemporary for those of you of a certain age). But I love and am moved by a wide variety of music from classical to bluegrass to jazz… pretty much everything but hardcore electronica, anything obscenity-filled or blatantly misogynistic, and opera.

I’m especially fond of an obscure composer by the name of Erik Satie. Over the past couple of years I’ve collected much of his work, which is primarily solo piano (or was originally written as such). Satie was a fixture on the arty early-20th-century Parisian scene, inspired and was inspired by the likes of Ravel and Debussy, and drank himself to death at the age of 59. He is best known by his early work Gymnopedies, in three parts, of which part 1 is most familiar and what first caught my ear. You’ve probably heard it in your dentist’s office. I’m no music theorist, but I think I love three things about this piece: the unexpected, almost discordant chord progession; the way part 1 ends in mid-air without returning “home;” and the silences between the notes. I own several versions of this piece and the ones I like best are
R E A L L Y    S L O W, with obvious pauses between each note. This interpretation leaves me hanging, waiting for a resolution that never… quite… comes. This slow-down-and-off-kilter-stop experience is very satisfying in an odd sort of way.

According to my running plan spreadsheet, I was supposed to run 3 miles yesterday afternoon… but I had a headache and I took a nap. So I thought I’d run 3 miles this afternoon… but it was pouring rain, and I had another matter to attend to.

I had met with my attorney on Monday and obtained the documentation that was going to enable me to finally close Kurt’s checking account at REALLYBIGBANK. I know, this is the week when lots of people are closing their accounts at various REALLYBIGBANKS, but in my case I was simply happy to be able to mark one more thing off my list. The local branch employees were courteous and helpful, and it only took me about an hour to walk out with a check. I will, however, admit to an internal smirk as I severed my ties with that bank. I moved to a local bank several years ago, but Kurt chose to stay with that particular REALLYBIGBANK for some reason.

I thought I’d go home then and do 3 miles on my treadmill, but since I was already out I took myself out to dinner instead.

So I didn’t get that run in today, but that’s OK. I can let it be OK if I only run twice a week instead of three times. My knees like it better that way, anyway. Tomorrow is beer run night again, and I expect to be there even if it’s rainy and windy (which is exactly what the forecast says).

Tonight, I’m simply appreciating the unexpected pause.

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Posted on November 2, 2011, in Music, Philosophy, Running and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Love Satie, too…and appreciate the encouragement to savor the pause. Seems you’ve experienced some life events that would almost necessitate a capital P Pause…I hope you can refuel for your next run! Debra

  2. Meh- today will be the first day I’ve run all week- and I have the 10k Saturday. Ya, that’s how I roll….. it’s just been a weird week, and I’ve been afraid to do too much and get injured or something which would mess up my plan for Saturday. Enjoy the pause…. 🙂

  3. How nice! 🙂 I enjoyed reading this.

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