I've become a fan of the song "Shatter Me" by Lindsay Stirling, featuring Lzzy Hale. I heard it on the radio and was grabbed by the electric energy of the violin contrasted with the delicate, tinkling music box background. As I listened I began to pick up the lyrics more clearly and was intrigued enough to want to watch the music video. I found it on YouTube while my daughter was sitting on my lap for an extended slow post-nap waking up snuggle. I enjoy cuddling my daughter but after about 15 minutes when she wasn't showing any signs of being ready to face the world again I decided it would be okay to look up the video and watch it with her.
If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend looking it up (here's a link). It's a striking and lovely piece of storytelling in which Lindsay Stirling plays a music box ballerina painfully setting herself free from her pretty prison and experiencing the grandeur of a wider, lovelier, riskier world. Her freedom creates freedom for the other character in the store, the mechanic maintaining her clockwork machinery, played by Lzzy Hale.
Of course, watching music videos with a four year old requires some discussion and explanation. Her question at the end was "Why did she break that glass?" Which left me trying to explain the concept of a metaphor to a four year old, that it was a pretend story that helps us understand something else. We talked about becoming free from fear so that we can be the people G-D created us to be. It's more than a little above her developmental level but she was able to connect it with our previous conversations about the movie Frozen and how Queen Elsa needed to be freed from fear in order to use her powers for good. So, hopefully some of those ideas are getting through and taking hold.
It struck me, as we talked, how often I talk to my daughter about fear and love and courage, about being the person G-D wants you to be. I write about these ideas pretty often as well. I think all these conversations come about because this is my own growth point right now. I am slowly coming to realize how many of my own choices are fear driven and how many times I'm not true to the person G-D created me to be. It is a process, and I'm not sure how it's working out will unfold or even what the next steps should be. My theme seems to be moving towards uncertainty, vulnerability and discomfort so that I am open to peace, love and joy. So far all I can really say is that growth isn't easy, and can at times feel shattering, but I am hanging on to faith in the idea that challenge and change are vital in many sense of the word.
We just celebrated my daughter's fourth birthday this weekend, and as she does her own growing I realize that she is watching how I live my life. I hear more and more echoes of myself in her voice. Little phrases and jokes that I'm not even aware I say regularly she reflects back to me with uncanny accuracy. I'm relieved that one of her phrases recently is "Oh, I sure can!" Apparently that's one of my favorites. It's not so bad, but it tugs on a string in my heart, telling me that this little girl is watching me. She will live her life the way I live mine. I can talk all I want about love and courage. If I want her to be courageous and loving, I have to live it. Her freedom will in many ways be linked to mine. Which means I can't live my life in a safe music box globe either.