Listening With Our Fingers
On our recent trip to Germany we had the fortune of playing nearly 30 historic pipe organs in 14 days! These were instruments ranging from the early 16th century all the way to the current day. One of the great challenges for us was adapting to the unique qualities and demands of each instrument on very short notice. Although the organs shared many general attributes, the more we studied them, the more their differences were accentuated.
Each instrument required that we listen to it carefully, responding to its key action, flow of wind, and speech of the pipes. When we reverted to a default manner of playing, the organs would often sound harsh and unstable. In turn, when we listened and responded to the demands of each instrument, they began to teach us and reveal the beauty of the music.
Isn't this true about the interactions we share with people every day? When we are confronted with conflict, change, the unknown, or something new, it is easy to revert to our most instinctual reaction - usually fear and defensiveness. But, if we take a moment to listen to the situation and its unique challenges, the opportunity for something new and wonderful can emerge.