Without our taking the risk of making a sound on our instrument, there is nothing there that might be deemed insufficient by ourselves or others; we are safe. There is also nothing there at all; there is a deficit. The challenge of daily practice brings us into the presence of possibility. When we dare to make the first sound of the day, willing to receive it openheartedly, we come into the presence also of a part of ourselves that otherwise lies dormant, and shrinks away out of our daily lives. This is the mysterious presence of the creative spirit. It has something to say to us if we will listen, and then we will find that we have something to say in return; and finally, that conversation gives us something to say out into the world.
If we do not take the risk of making a sound today, possibility and imagination are diminished in us, and also diminished is what we bring to our interactions with the world. We have fewer interior experiences with which to receive what comes at us from the outside; instead of the “bushy brain” that grows the ability to catch and interact with all manner of stimuli, we end up with something more akin to a teflon brain that sheds what it encounters. Step up to the silent instrument!
Read Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers. Watch Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk “Your Elusive Creative Genius,” (www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html)
Continue your work!