Balance. Work and family. Spouse and children and parents. Time and money. We spend a tremendous amount of time trying to balance them all on the scales of life. Do we ever feel there is a thumb on the scales? A thumb applying pressure that perpetuates imbalance? Maybe it’s the same thumb we use to unlock our phone. Maybe, just maybe, we can’t find our balance because we are so incredibly wired in, so cyber-connected that the scales are always skewed towards some other thing that our devices tell us to go to, be at, take care of (….you are reading this online, aren’t you?).
We do need to spend some of our lives online; our world is simply put together that way. But shouldn’t there be a life balance waiting to be struck between wired and real? To find that balance sometimes we need to truly disconnect. Not think about it, not just want to (but need to keep my phone with me), nor maybe tomorrow I will, nor it-might-be–nice-to-do-but-only–right-after-I-finish-reading-these–next-few-posts. We need to disconnect in order to balance; to truly connect with our world - eye to eye, spoken word to word, breath to breath. To be where things live.
That balance can be struck a step out our door. We live here, in a magical place where we are always five minutes away from deep quiet, from a calming breeze brushing our cheek, from the snap of a twig underfoot. The place where our whispered voice gets a response not from Alexa, but from a cardinal or an owl. Where we can then head indoors and, alone in front of “Christ with Folded Arms”, examine every brushstroke as if standing next to the artist himself and see some minute exquisiteness our screens would hide from us. Connected then to Rembrandt (!), just you and he, in a way that Instagram only pretends we can. Or yes, we can hear Bach as Bach heard it, pouring out from the breath and emotions of a musician in cascades of real humanness, sharing a sublime something drawn from a lifetime of diligence and understanding.
These things are so good, so indispensable to us because they are taken in live and are alive. The woods, the lake, the art and the music grow and change in front of us and we are part of that growing and changing. It is a world in which we have a part to play. Our part is to live in this world; one very real and very present.
So, go ahead, tap ‘shut down’. And go find real. This informative and lovely site will still be here when you come back. But it will be a much better read for you having found your balance.
Having served as the Music Director of the Glens Falls Symphony since 2000, Charles Peltz is a proud resident of our vibrant Glens Falls community. Dividing his time between Glens Falls and Boston, where he is Director of Wind Ensembles at the New England Conservatory of Music, Maestro Peltz brings to Glens Falls a wealth of musical expertise.
Join The Glens Falls Symphony on May 5 at 4pm for the close of their 2018-19 season with Bernstein's evocative "Chichester Psalms, followed by the season's spectacular Grand Finale, Beethoven's triumphant Symphony No. 9. More information and tickets here.