Saturday, August 1, 2015

Life's Fine, Fine Line

At the St Louis Cabaret Conference, one very rich element was hearing the songs my fellow singers chose to work on. I had heard the song "It's A Fine, Fine Line" from the musical Avenue Q once or twice. However, I had never really thought about it deeply, until my fellow singer, Meri Ziev, from Florida worked on it during our coaching sessions at the Cabaret Conference.

The lyrics to the first verse are:

"There's a fine, fine line between a lover and a friend. There's a fine, fine line between reality and pretend. And you never know til you reach the top if it was worth the uphill climb. There's a fine, fine line between love and a waste of time."

So much of life is defined by fine, fine lines. Love. Major life decisions. Even life itself. I remember being profoundly aware of this as a child. And I kept writing about it in poetry, songs and eventually my first book.

When I was 16, I wrote some short pieces of verse to accompany photographs in the high school yearbook. "A thin line stands between dream and reality. And only the heart knows the characteristics that correspond to either side," was one of them.

I became aware of how many dimensions of life were literally a matter of being on one side of a very fine line or another. I learned that even when a woman was in her prime fertile time, there is only a 20% chance of conception taking place. One synchronicity in life--being at the right place at the right time or the wrong place at the wrong time--can be the difference between life and death. One of my college roommates was originally scheduled to be on the plane that crashed in Chicago that year. But last minute circumstances prevented her from making the plane.

Sometimes we are responsible for which side of that fine line we land on through our choices. When something is challenging, do it give it one more try or give up? When we have a dream, do we start to define and take steps in that direction or do we stay where we are? Many times, a divine force, a higher power greater than us, has a hand in which side of the fine line we find ourselves on.

As a teenager who loved the Red Sox, how did I know that a security guard who saw me often at the games would let me know there was a job opportunity to work there? Or even more special in the divine choreography that led me to work at Fenway Park, that the concession company needed a female employee unrelated to anyone already working there at the moment I walked in the office to apply for the job?

When life's synchronicities open doors for me or even present me with simple poignant moments where I get to be a magical stranger in a simple way, like helping a stranger, my heart is touched and grateful. Learning to be open to synchronicities, recognizing a moment of opportunity when consciously working towards a vision, or having the courage to say "yes" or "no" to a new direction ask us to dance with life's fine, fine lines.

And often we never know the final outcome until after we have made the choice. "You never know til you reach the top if it was worth the uphill climb." Listening to our hearts and guts, and having them help us discern which steps to take or not as we face the fine, fine line, can at least help us find a true path. Sometimes it is easy. Sometimes it is hard. Sometimes it is life changing. Other times it is of smaller proportion. Yet, over time, I have come to cherish those fine, fine lines, that thin line that stands between dream and reality. And I have have come to realize that the very act of facing and walking across those lines is at the heart of being fully alive.