I was just searching for a quote I’m sure I heard on NPR years ago about Aristotle and naps and some sort of validation for staying in bed longer this morning.
I didn’t find the exact story I was thinking of, but this is close:
In the end, I really didn’t need the validation, because I had already decided to stay in bed longer today. In fact, I required it of myself. And in doing so, I relaxed enough to contemplate a few things, and then I answered some of the lingering creative questions I had about my upcoming Paris cabaret. All from my bed. I feel like a million bucks.
My advice? Next time you feel overwhelmed and unfocused and just want to think, make yourself stay in bed an extra hour or two. If you need permission, just ask Aristotle.
I think it’s funny when a thought or an idea keeps appearing once it’s first recognized. Take my recent post on “Carmen and the Bull” as an example. The show synopsis that I ended up using reads thusly:
Join in the fun as a singing, dancing, traveling gypsy befriends a little bull, his mom and most unlikely of all—a bullfighter! Using the music from the opera Carmen, and loosely based on the beloved story Ferdinand the Bull,Union Avenue Opera’s education team delights young and old audiences alike with a new depiction of a timeless theme: Be True To Yourself. As it turns out, when Ferdinand is the best version of himself, good things happen to everyone involved!
I flipped open the most recent Runner’s World a day after writing about the children’s opera. Literally the first thing I saw was an ad for the new book, “To Be a Runner.” I almost laughed when I read the book description:
Dave Davies interviewed journalist and author Pete Hamill on Fresh Air yesterday, and I think I actually DID laugh out loud when Hamill replied to Davies’ question about the author’s changed drinking habits (and not, incidentally, because drinking habits are funny):
But from the professional and personal standpoint, a lot of it was about trying to find out what was there as a writer because my ambition was not to be better than Faulkner or Hemingway or anything like that. It was to be the best version of myself that I could conceivably be in the time I had on the planet.
I guess we’re all trying to figure out how to be the best versions of ourselves that we can be. A timeless theme? Yes, indeed. It’s showing up everywhere.
I subbed for another voice teacher this weekend, which can be tricky business when it involves girls ages 9-12. The 5 girls were great, though. They paid close attention, sang their hearts out and gave one another very thoughtful and positive feedback after singing solos. Near the end of the hour, I received the best compliment a teacher could get. “Wow,” Maddy said as she glanced at the clock, “this class is flying by.”
Then there’s NPR. Where else would Alec Baldwin’s interview with Laura Linney be put on audio display? I listened to the two actors talk as I drove home from teaching. They started with a discussion about Linney’s current role in “Time Stands Still” on Broadway, and ended with her quoting a past stage director. It seemed to contradict Maddy’s compliment. “Okay, we don’t have a lot of time, so we have to work very slowly.”
Maybe a contradiction, but probably not.
A good friend just had collarbone surgery. Ouch. “Healing happens way faster in the movies,” he jokingly complained the other day. Oh, cutting room floor, how you make a mess of our already slippery notions of time.
When we work slowly, which I imagine to mean very focused and intently, do we automatically edit out all the boredom, the ineffective stress of rushing, and the overwhelming jumble of thoughts that make time lag or pass without our noticing? Is that what the stage director (I didn’t catch her name–Josie something) was getting at? I might be starting to understand what the proverbial They mean when they say “live in the present.”
Pay attention, sing your heart out, allow your body to adjust, let time fly, and work slowly. It’s my new mantra.