The Space Between The Ropes

As musicians, we’re all swinging for one gig to another, catching the next career opportunity in our hands as the other slips from our fingers into the past. We feel fairly in control. We sometimes choose, sometimes are forced into the next stage of our lives. At least we get to choose if we go peacefully, or kicking and screaming. 


Until 1877 everyone assumed that when a horse was at a gallop, at least one of their hooves would touch the ground at any given time. Eadweard Muybridge changed this forever with his pioneering (and radical) approach to the newly invented medium that was rumored to capture men’s souls: photography. 


Using a revolutionary technique, he proved once and for all that horses occasionally came completely unglued to the ground during a full gallop. It was invisible to the casual observer, but shockingly obvious in his photographs. Taken out of context, it would appear that horses don’t gallop at all, but merely hover across the face of the earth like blimps. Men are sailing on anatomically accurate horse-shaped clouds, gliding along on the winds just above the grass. 


I intend this blog to catch me mid-flight. I’m hanging in between earth and sky, one hand grasping toward St. Louis and my childhood, the other reaching out in free space. I’ve let go now, and to the observer (you, my dear reader), I’m performing the every day miracle of falling (or perhaps flying) into a new stage of both career and life. Perhaps it's a bit of both. 


Our temptation is to claw at the nearest hand hold. To hord it like manna, to maintain the illusion of control as long as we can. And when the rope reverses direction and swings us back where we’ve came from, we complain that life’s unfair, or the market is in a recession, or we never had a chance. We’re the ones that refused to grip the next rope, but it’s not our fault. It’s the rope’s. Or my parent’s. Or a million other fictional imaginings. 


As I dangle in this pause between shutter snaps, I’m comforted by one thing: as a follower of Christ, I only have one job. To let go and reach for the next rope.