Monday, February 16, 2015

Foodie Insight

When I taught high school orchestra, I used to have my students name a food, and then I would give them an analogy of how to play a section of music, in the description of the food they named.  One day they said, "pickle." We were practicing a watered-down version of Beethoven's Egmont Overture, and I alluded to the grit in the crunch that I need to hear in their accents and the friction of their bows on the strings.  The pickle snaps briskly and would be less desirable if it had no crunch and a soggy version of al dente.  I should hear the sour sorrow within the dark melodic lines and the refreshment of the bright green flavor as it cuts through the heaviness of the sandwich it accompanies.  I sometimes call this "psycho-babble", but as they would try to stump me with different foods that would seemingly make no sense to them about relating to the music, we would come up with something witty, and often their own ideas would add more than I ever could, erupt into laughter, and suddenly they cared about the sounds they made with their instruments.


Yesterday, in a surreal way, I got to connect briefly with my friend Christine and her beautiful family.  I haven't seen her since the summer. We stopped by her house on our way back from NJ and she graciously and joyfully opened her home and table for us to eat our Lebanese food for dinner, and the our kids filled the living area with laughter, running, and a fun friend for Curtis for a good hour. Christine is an elementary school guidance counselor, a constant learner, prayer warrior, and battery re-charger; she inspires me whenever she texts and calls me a handful of times a year, always in absolutely perfect timing.  We had a great conversation about leading children.  I would say, "Naomi, eat your hummus, 5 more bites," and Christine would say, "Hey, how's the hummus, Naomi?" Then Naomi would take a bite joyfully with chewing smile and I get rolling eyes or a gritty stare.  Grr...

Getting kids to care about what they are doing and how they are doing it is an art within itself.  You would think that I could handle this with my own children, if I excelled at psycho-babbling a room of 100 high school students and have a decent product of music at the end, with most caring about the music--not just the notes.

Mike and I are realizing that we are constantly teaching our own children things that we are trying to understand and excel at individually.  I could have eaten my words when I said to Mike, "Naomi needs to learn not to believe everything everybody says, her friend said 'below' was two words, right before the spelling test, and she knew it was one, but because 'so and so said!' she thinks it's true and got it wrong on the test!"  We basically both busted out laughing because of recent incidents where I believed individuals who just flat out lie and deceive.  It was the best way to learn: speaking the truth to myself but starting the statement like it was for someone else.

About 5 years ago, Christine gave me socks that say "you're the cheese to my macaroni." Her and I used to exchange fun presents, where we would bust out laughing, and then we would go out for dinner or something.  Sounds totally silly, but we really do need excellent friends when our pasta is boring and our sorrow needs a tangible sour taste to thoroughly understand its depth.  

I'm a huge fan of this excerpt:

Get wisdom; get insight;
  do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
 Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;
  love her, and she will guard you.
 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
  and whatever you get, get insight.
 Prize her highly, and she will exalt you;
  she will honor you if you embrace her.
 She will place on your head a graceful garland;
  she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.” Proverbs 4:5-9 ESV

 How can you inspire others and yourself with the humble insight of a foodie?