I read a fantastic book, How Yoga Works, by Geshe Michael Roach. It’s a story about a young woman who must teach her prison warden about the ways of yoga. The book takes place a very long time ago. There’s a wonderful scene where our female protagonist, Miss Friday, takes the warden’s bamboo pen and throws it out the window to the cow below. The cow eats it. To the warden, the piece of bamboo is a writing instrument. To the cow, it’s a snack. Nothing is as it seems. And nothing is all good or all bad. It just depends on how you look at it.
This school year I haven’t been very fond of the Noodges’ music teacher. And that’s putting it nicely. I won’t bore you with the details of how I’ve come to this decision, that’s a post for another time. But something happened recently. During the 8th grade band concert, the music teacher was introducing the next song with a little explanation about the piece. He mentioned “Oh, Danny Boy,” the Irish classic, was part of the number and that song was something his father sang to him as a child. (The music teacher is about five minutes past puberty, so to us old folks, when he was a young child.) Music Teacher introduced his father sitting in the front row and thanked him for sharing that song with him. He held out his hand to his father who gladly shook it and Music Teacher found his words were being cut off by emotion and tears.
And that’s when it hit me. I was having my own bamboo pen moment. This young man standing on the stage isn’t all bad. He’s clearly capable of emotion. He loves his father who loves him back. As a mother witnessing this special moment, I found myself with a tear or two. Or maybe it was an eyelash, but go with me on this.
I thought, if Music Teacher would show a little of this side of himself to his students and to the parents of those students he’d be liked more. But that’s a lesson he might learn with experience. Or not. It’s all up to him.
But for me, I’m going to try and remember that moment on stage when I have to deal with this teacher over the next two school years, as Noodge 2 will be alone to navigate the many moods of music. I will try to be more patient and understand that for some the music teacher is an instrument made from bamboo and to me he can’t be a snack.