Book #3: How Can We Keep From Singing

My son, Snowman, gave me a book for Christmas, How Can We Keep From Singing: Music and the Passionate Life, and it has been wonderful. Joan Oliver Goldsmith is a freelance writer and an enthusiastic amateur singer, one who is well-trained and thoughtful about music and her own life.

I want to share something that touched me from the final chapter, in which she writes about learning a piece of music that stretches all her limits:

Life’s sacred assignments constitute a customized curriculum–structured and designed for each individual…
I want to know my course assignment now. The simple act of naming it forces me to notice what’s happening in my life. It also gives me a learner’s perspective: Of course I’m not good at this yet–that’s why it’s been assigned to me.
I have friends who would say the spiritual curriculum is the will of an intentional, personal God. I have friends who would say you create the curriculum with your own energy. I’m not driven to assign causality. But I do believe the evidence of my eyes and my years. The spiritual curriculum is real.

Since I’m in a place just like that, I appreciated the way she put it.

6 thoughts on “Book #3: How Can We Keep From Singing”

  1. Songbird, I have this on my hold list at the local library. This sounds like a book very much up my alley. Because of you sharing it, I found out about it. Thank you.

  2. That is very good. I like the thought that I’m not good at it yet, which is why I’ve been “assigned” it! That’s so sensible.

  3. My spiritual curriculum right now reminds me of seminary – no way can I ever get through all the “reading” assignments, I just have hope I am choosing the “right” ones to read…(that is if reading is a metaphor for all that I have to do…) – anyway, great quote…thinking of you these days…

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