The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog


Play the Sunset

 

Last night I was watching one of my favorite movies, Mr. Holland’s Opus, starring Richard Dreyfus. For those who have never seen it, it is the story of a professional musician and composer who takes a job as a high school music teacher. At first, he is ill-suited for the position and he expresses exasperation with the students whose own level of dedication to being taught by him is reflective of his lack of commitment to being there only for the paycheck. It is when he is chastised by the principal, played by Olympia Dukakis that he has a wake up call and dives in heart first. He recognizes that in order to reach the students, he needs to speak their language and that is Rock N Roll! When the film begins, it is the 1960′s and the soundtrack includes Louie Louie, Lover’s Concerto,  Uptight (Everything Is Alright), Imagine and Beautiful Boy.

Throughout his 30 year career as a teacher, he continues to work in his own composition, but it, along with his wife Iris and his son Cole (so named for John Coltrane) who is deaf and can’t appreciate music the same way he can,  play second fiddle to his growing responsibilities at work. My favorite scene in the movie that always bring tears to my eyes is when a student named Gertrude Lang is struggling with playing the clarinet which she only took up because everyone else in her family had a talent and she wanted something that she could claim as her own. She walks into the music room while Mr. Holland is playing piano. He asks her why people play music and she eventually came to the conclusion that it was because it was fun. He further reminds her not to simply play the notes on the page. The next question is what she likes about herself when she sees her image in the mirror. Of course, it is her beautiful red hair which her father says reminds him of the sunset. He then instructs her to put away her sheet music and “Play the sunset.”  That she does, eyes closed, transfixed.  From that point on, her relationship with music shifts. It is a goosebump and tears moment for me each time I have seen it since 1995 when the movie was released.

What if we could each put away the instructions for how to play our soul song and simply….play the sunset or the sunrise, the ocean tide, the thunder storm, or the blizzard for that matter?  What if we could tap into our natural talents and allow them to play us? I like to say that ‘my writing writes me’, as I get out of the way and let it do its thing. It takes some amount of courage to trust that what emerges will be beautiful and beneficial to all who hear it.

http://youtu.be/qCzgK_DoKB4 Play the Sunset from Mr. Holland’s Opus



Previous Posts

In The Garden of Eden
I spent the day today basking in the sun, dashing in the rain, lounging in a hammock, enjoying healthy munchies, singing, dancing, drumming, hugging, smiling, laughing; all in the presence of kindred spirits. No wonder the event I attended was called Kindred Spirits Labor Day of Love. I was surround

posted 10:59:51pm Sep. 01, 2014 | read full post »

Resurrection
      Last night I watched one of my favorite movies that debuted in 1980. Resurrection starred Ellen Burstyn, Sam Shepard, Eva Le Galliene, Richard Farnsworth and Roberts Blossom. It is the story of Edna Mae McCauley, who in the first 10 minutes or so of the film, has a

posted 3:49:27pm Aug. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Don't Give Up
As I am in the middle of the fifth decade of my life, the world has become a patchwork quilt of experiences. In the last 55 years, I have splashed in puddles of joy and gasped for air while feeling like I was drowning in sorrow. I have been clutched by fear and basked in light. Through it all, I hav

posted 8:53:03am Aug. 28, 2014 | read full post »

Heaven On Earth
    "Imagine, will you....Heaven On Earth For Real." These are the words that are on my friend Tambra Harck's Facebook page. I think about it a lot since I believe that we create our own vision/version in our vivid imaginations. One of my favorite songs on the topic, sung by Ma

posted 9:47:47pm Aug. 26, 2014 | read full post »

With An Open Hand
  When you consider all of the things that you desire; from relationships to abundance, from faith to freedom, from possessions to passion, how do you hold them?  What I mean by that is this:  do you hold them with a closed fist; grasping, clinging as if for dear life or can you let go a b

posted 9:07:21pm Aug. 25, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.