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4.15.2012

LIFE'S DYNAMICS

"All is quiet on the western front" is a quote from the book of the same title written in 1929.  It follows the story of a young man who joins the German army at the start of WWI.  The quote is in reference to the close of the book where "all is quiet on the western front" is part of the situation report from the front line - indicative also of the cheapness of human life in war.  That phrase gets used in our modern culture as a correlation to when the crisis has passed or subsided, the problem is calm again, the acuteness has faded in comparison to what it was previously.  That phrase also speaks to how things are replaced routinely or readily in our lives with other things of lesser and/or greater intensity.  It's that whole nothing lasts forever take on the mobility of all things in our lives.  Including, life itself.  I'm sure if you look backwards across the scope of your life up to this point, you can clearly see that principle at work.  You can see dynamics in life too.  Periods where it is intense, where stress is high, where financial worries are great, where personal relationships are humming smoothly or they are grossly out of sync.  I love music.  I write about it from time to time.  There is power, expression, mystery and even healing in music.  The word dynamics is used in music to describe the process within a song of change in speed/rhythm/volume.  Music is no different than speech.  It's hard to hear beyond people's words when they are talking, to the inferred and felt meaning, without voice inflection changes, without facial changes, without volume changes.  Monotone voices don't hold our attention or showcase the power of the words.  Those dynamic changes clearly help paint a picture of what the speaker is saying with their words.  Dynamics help create a story.  That flow causes us to experience mere words with greater connection.  If we lived life monotonish, always constant and flat lined - whether always great or always bad, we would be less connected, less able to feel, to experience.  There have been times I have longed for moments to come where all is quiet on the western front.  I have needed the intensity to calm down, the crisis to avert, relent or cease all together.  But other times, I have longed for the monotony to ratchet up, for passion to flair, start or drive me.  Dynamics in life are multi-dimensional.  They create a life with music, relationships, nature, work, family, and faith in a setting that ebbs and flows.  Showing us wonder, fragileness and constant movement all at once.

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