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Base Camp for Life: A Spiritual Journey...

A Michelangelo in Embryo

9:06 AM

I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.
-Socrates

There is a scenario in Socrates life that speaks directly to me. What if....

Xantippe and Socrates had settled down and lived in a cottage with a vine growing over the portico, and two rows of hollyhocks leading from the front gate to the door; a pathway of coal-ashes lined off with broken crockery, and inside the house all sweet, clean and tidy; Socrates earning six drachmas a day carving marble, with double pay for overtime, and he handing the pay-envelope over to her each Saturday night, keeping out just enough for tobacco, and she putting a tidy sum in the Ægean Savings-Bank every month—why, what then?

Well, that would have been an end of Socrates. [1]


I'm not claiming to be the next Socrates or Michelangelo by any stretch of the imagination. But I lay down at night and full symphonies nurse me to sleep, (all original) I paint pictures with my cello as I navigate through chord progressions, it's within me. My fear in marriage is that I am "tamed." I am not longer a great artist in embryo, but a respectable man and future father.

You see, I just resigned my membership at my current church. I have to take a break. I can no longer feel right about taking communion, proclaiming vows of prayer, reciting creeds and confessions...it all feels boxed in. I will miss playing music in the church, I will miss the community; but will not miss the "closed hand" issues we all recite.

My wife and I just met our pastor for counseling, I respect him and his way of handling people. The only bone I had to pick with him was a certain statement. "Would you give up cello playing for your wife?" Okay...hold on!! Take a paintbrush away from the painter, a pen away from the poet, an instrument away from the musician and it's akin to taking the voice away from an effective communicator, the legs from an athlete, or the sense of taste and smell from a cook. I play music for a living, I know I'm not world-class; but I have aspirations. If you rip out my dreams, I am just a dried, shriveled-up shell of what I am or hope to become.

Success Magazine put out a great article. [2]
In the excerpt below, the author lists 10 question that must be answered yes too.

Are You Ready to Put Your Dream to the Test?
OK, you may be saying to yourself, I’ve got a dream. I think it’s worth pursuing. Now what? How can I know that my odds are good for achieving it? That brings us to these questions:

  1. The Ownership Question: Is my dream really my dream?
  2. The Clarity Question: Do I clearly see my dream?
  3. The Reality Question: Am I depending on factors within my control to achieve my dream?
  4. The Passion Question: Does my dream compel me to follow it?
  5. The Pathway Question: Do I have a strategy to reach my dream?
  6. The People Question: Have I included the people I need to realize my dream?
  7. The Cost Question: Am I willing to pay the price for my dream?
  8. The Tenacity Question: Am I moving closer to my dream?
  9. The Fulfillment Question: Does working toward my dream bring satisfaction?
  10. The Significance Question: Does my dream benefit others?
This is the struggle for an artist: we may hurt people along the way, the ones close to us. We pay the price to achieve our goals and are willing to fail.

Now, this is where I need help. I told someone recently I am a "ship tossed in the ocean." I love my wife dearly, and she admitted to me after the counseling session she is willing to explore other philosophies, change aspects of her life so we can find this "emotional connection" that has long been absent. I appreciate that, and we our best friends; I find her easy to talk to, great to do activities with, but often I find music to be my way of communication feelings of love, joy and internal struggle. In fact, I'm a terrible communicator through the medium of speech; if I could just play a musical soundtrack of my day I'd be much happier. My wife could ask, "how was your day," and I could sit down and play some rhythmic tracks exploring my underlying emotions then live-loop some melodic motifs describing conversations I had during the day then finally adding some harmony to fill in some of the complexity I experienced. Maybe I should do that one day and put it on my youtube channel. Now I have to meet my pastor later this week and "decide" to give my wife 100% or...I should divorce. I could write another post on how divorce effects the community in the negative and how I may end up. Like Socrates, I married for "discipline." It's so I could control my sex drive, it's so I could "settle down" and create art within that marriage, it's because I love her...


Footnotes:
1. "Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Philosophers" by Elbert Hubbard

2. "What is your Dream" by John C. Maxwell - Success Magazine


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