Sunday, February 17, 2008

Harmony (My Sacred Life, Sunday)

In all its various meanings, harmony is a wonderful thing.

Here is one example, my eldest daughter and fellow opera students in a scene from Dialogues of the Carmelites, a 50-year-old work of Francis Poulenc which details a very inharmonious end of an order of Carmelite nuns during the French Revolution.

Despite the unhappy ending of the nuns, there is harmony here. I love the way these seven voices sway and flow together in this short segment. Please forgive the inexpert camera work.

Harmony manifests in our lives in lots of ways, and it is the very pursuit of it which is a focal point of many of our lives. The mystery of how harmony arrives in our days, departs without farewell, and then is back without any warning...that's one I have yet to figure out.

It is possible to promote harmony in one's life, but that only increases the chances. It doesn't guarantee anything. For most of us, we seek happiness. And, happily, harmony is one of the indicators that we have conditions ripe for being happy. It's always a choice we can make, and being in harmony makes the choice very easy.

For me, harmony is another way of describing that sense of being in the flow, simply riding along exactly where the universe intends one to be, experiencing each moment as it arrives, enjoying it right that instant. There is real magic in that place, too. The best round of golf I ever played was with rented clubs on the Mauna Lani course (imagine green ribbons of fairway, completely surrounded by black, foreboding lava rock, only feet off the fairway on all sides). This was long before I had any understanding of being in the flow. I was so in the moment that I could not remember, during the round, what I had done on the previous hole, or even the previous shot. I just approached the ball wherever it ended up, looked at the challenge I faced, picked a club and smacked the ball.

(this is the signature hole at Mauna Lani--not only the lava rock, but the ocean threatens here, as well)

The end of that round was perfect in how it encapsulated that day and, in a larger sense, my life during that period, more than twenty years ago. I had about a 30-foot putt for birdie, and I struck the putt without any lengthy study--I knew I was going to make the putt. This was not an ego-related knowing, but a simple knowing much as one knows when you jump, you will return to earth. The ball went straight into the hole as if it were the ball's home. I looked over to my then-wife to share the joy, and she was faced the other direction taking a photo of the scenery. I was in harmony with the gods of golf that day, she was in harmony with her camera, and that 18th-hole scene was an accurate predictor that we were growing apart. It took us a number of years to recognize the truth that was evident that moment.

An amazingly powerful arrival in my life, my wife Julia, has a website which describes a feature of the universe which fosters not only harmony and being in the flow, but finding ease in one's life. Easy World has helped me every day since Julia rediscovered this age-old reality, one which we all knew at one time and have forgotten. Her discovery is of an elemental way to invite harmony into one's life. I heartily recommend it!

Today, my Sacred Life Sunday is devoted to harmony in all its meanings.


Olivia said...

Whoa, what a talented daughter, Rick, and how beautifully you organized this post to be about harmony. Much to think about, as always. Harmony...and disharmony...thank you for this today. Peace and love, O

Carla said...

Whenever I read your posts, I feel warmly embraced. Thanks for all you share, Rick.

Rick Hamrick said...

Thanks for visiting, ladies, and even more for letting me know you were here!

Sphincter said...

I hate golf. I really do. A childhood spent watching my dad in tournaments and having to be SO stinkin' quiet accounts for this, I think. But, you managed to make me see your point, so this is to your extreme credit. :)

(And I'd read about golf all day to listen to your daughter sing at the end of it all.)

Jane said...

Good morning Rick!

Wonderful and inspirational post as always. It struck me while I was reading this that I hadn't seen or thought or read the word "harmony" in such a long time, yet it is so essential to our well-being. Thanks for the reminder today :)

Rick Hamrick said...

Sphinc--thanks for the compliment on my daughter's vocal skills. She is really quite the accomplished opera singer now, even though she would prefer to be singing jazz all the time instead. I'm sure I will post another snippet of her in May when she has her last recital as an undergrad.

Jane--harmony is a very important word for me, and I'm glad it was one you had been missing lately! Thanks for your comment.