David and I are attempting to learn a piano duet by Bach called “Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit.” My translation (probably too literal and inaccurate) is, God’s time is the very best time.
We have been helped in this effort by a YouTube video of a couple playing the piece – they play it so smoothly and well that you’re led to believe the work will be easy (Gottes Zeit starts at 6:01 in the video). The bottom part (which I am playing) is not so bad, but David’s part is significantly harder, because it involves playing with his left hand crossed over his right. Who knows why the piece is played this way, but David says it’s a real challenge to make your left hand do what the right is supposed to and vice versa.
I was reminded of this challenge earlier today, when I attempted to organize the hair dryer and brush while facing the mirror. How do people know which way to move in this situation – backwards is forward, and left is right. Unless you’re looking in a reflection of the mirror, in which case everything is as it should be. One side is of my head is straightforward to style, because my hands don’t have to be crossed to do it and I can adjust to the backwards-forwards, left-right changes, but the other side is almost impossible, since I have to cross my hands and then look in the mirror and (sometimes) do the opposite of what I see. This sort of coordination is just too much.
Lucky for me, having my hair look just so is not critical. I regularly wear a hat of some sort which, as everyone knows, can ruin even the best hair days. Last Sunday, for example, Bruce and Dean and I went for an outing around Point Defiance and then to The Red Hot for a snack. We heard that it was getting close to their Darkest Day of the Year (DDOY) event, wherein they have a wide variety of super dark beers (porter, stout, and other molasses-like drinks), and we thought we might luck into that. Unfortunately (for Bruce) TRH wasn’t celebrating the Darkest Day of the Year on Sunday. They’re doing that today, when it actually IS the shortest day in northern hemisphere. The DDOY event, and the shortest day finally being here is something to be thankful for, even if you drink lagers or IPAs. Now we’ll have more light each day…
If we’re not careful, Advent can be a combination of trying to style to other side of your head while looking in a mirror, and heading into the darkest day of the year. Not the DDOY at TRH, but the actual solstice, when the available light is at a minimum. Maybe it’s different for you, but I often feel discombobulated during these weeks – as if my hands are crossed and I’m trying to get the left one to pick up the slack for stuff the right hand hasn’t done yet. Routine has gone out the window and sometimes neither hand knows exactly what the other is doing or where it should go next. And this, I think, is not what Advent is meant to be.
Which is exactly why it is good to remember the title of the piece David and I are learning. Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit. God’s time is the very best time. This is what helps my hands to uncross. This is what helps me to stop and remember that my hair doesn’t have to look perfect – combed and dry is good enough – and that God’s time comes whether I get everything done or not.