In the dictionary a definition less connected to sound is this: “movement or procedure with uniform or patterned recurrence of a beat, accent, or the like.”
I, for my part, have been off beat this week, without the usual rhythm of my days and I am astounded at how disorienting it has been. Because there was a funeral for me to attend/participate in Newton on Wednesday, and because I had freedom this particular Wednesday, I chose to not work on Monday, and instead go to Newton on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Not a huge shift since Tuesday and Thursday are regular, “rhythmic” days for me. But Wednesday broke the recurring symmetry for me and the result is that I was lost in the days of the week. Each day I had to decide what day it was. On Tuesday night I wondered if I should be getting the trash ready – no, that was a Wednesday night task.
I am one of those folks – for good of for ill – whose life has long been dictated by rhythm, by the patterned recurrence of life, of schedule, not so free in spirit as say, syncopation (although even that, I suspect has framework). One of my dear friends is the free spirit who through the time of our shared experiences has called me out of the beat, called me to be responsive to the off-beat, to welcome the opportunities to be found in the rests as well as in the cadenzas. It seems I do have an affinity for rhythm. However, while I have been somewhat disoriented this week, I have managed to move through the days, being present to those I have visited, to share myself as I am able, with all. Maybe I even made some new music this week.