Every so often, you have a situation where someone surprises you with their dislike of something you love. That’s what happened today on the first day of the Teacher Art Retreat. Don’t get me wrong, it was a WONDERFUL day full of creativity, great people and fun. But, well, here’s the story.
After lunch the majority of us started a drumming circle jam. It was wonderful and we were in an entrancing and exciting groove. People were playing off of one another, filling in spaces with their instrument’s sound, chatting back and forth with rhythm, when into the room from the sunny outdoors, barged an older gentleman. His hair was white and cut quite short, he was dressed smartly for a brisk summer’s day, but the imposing the look on his face alarmed me that something was wrong. I, the organizer of the retreat, sprung up and went to greet him.
“Are you the instructor?” he asked abruptly.
“Yes,” I replied.
“No music! There is no music here!” He shouted. The stern look on his face let me know he was very serious and the finger he darted across the air only emphasized his distaste.
A few more words were spoken. I was willing to oblige. Honestly, the whole thing stunned me, I didn’t know what else to do. He lives in an apartment above us and does not appreciate noise of any kind. I didn’t even think to let him know we would only be playing for 15 minutes each of the three days.
After he hurried out the door, I walked to the group who was still playing a steady groove as they watched the scene play out in front of them. I brought the group to a decrescendo and we all stopped playing.
The day the music died – That’s what one retreater thought of the whole experience.
So – should we stop and not play tomorrow? That is the question. What brings us so much community and joy is a heinous intrusion to another.
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