Scene One – WINGS – University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Wisconsin, September 1965
“Hello freshmen. Welcome to Biology 101. I’m professor Livingston. Ha – you wonder, where is the famous explorer and journalist, Henry Stanley?”
He walks to the lectern and peers over the top of his bifocals. “Unfortunately, Mr. Stanley and my esteemed namesake, Dr. Livingston, missionary, explorer and no relation of mine, died many years before you were born.”
Scene One – 400 West Lincoln Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, May 1949
“Hush, child, you’ll wake the chickens.” Mokey tugs my hand. The spring-hinged, pine planked door closes silently behind us. Moonlight yields to animal darkness. Squawk, the monsters perched above me warn of our intrusion into their fertile solitude.
“Hurry up, Richard, or we’ll miss the trolley.” Mother tightens her grip on my hand and tugs me up the hill on 68th Street. “Imagine the fun we’ll have.”
My piano teacher said, “Music communicates in many ways. What if you composed a melody where your music goes down the scale from higher to lower notes? In most of your songs, melodies ascend.”
How could I do this? That evening I struggled to compose a descending melody. Without a point of reference, or awareness of an example, it’s difficult to create new music.
This morning I heard a descending melody on the radio. I never heard the descending melody in the song until my piano teacher asked her question. When we pause and pay attention to what we experience, we raise our awareness in the present moment. If we increase awareness in one part of life, we elevate attention in other parts as well.
We may be bothered by a problem. “Let go of it. Get over it,” our friends advise. We may fear the result of letting go so we continue to do something that is inconsistent with what we want to achieve. However, if we are prepared for change, I suggest that we let go of our fear of letting go, and rely on our values and abilities to take us to a result we desire.
About the Author
Richard Wilberg is a creativity coach, musician, writer, photographer, and former business leader who lives in Madison, Wisconsin.