No Wrong Notes

Miles Davis said that there are no wrong notes, that it’s the next note that determines whether the previous one is right or wrong.

And it got me thinking about that space after one note but before the next, when the absence of the last note is hanging there – pregnant, unresolved.

Is it harmonious or dissonant? Good or bad?

Shrodinger’s note.

And even if the next note appears dissonant, it’s still not wrong. Because each successive note offers the potential and opportunity for ‘redemption’.

I guess it’s possible for a whole song to be a cacophony
of seemingly ‘wrong’ notes, only to be resolved at the end with a single note that makes everything that went before… perfect.

So this note-to-note, moment-to-moment potential for redemptive rightness and harmony – in music and in life – should give us pause from passing judgement too quickly on what we’re experiencing. And instead we might try reserving our judgement and adopting a radical “wait and see” attitude to the flow of experiencing, on the basis that however ‘bad’ something might seem right now, the next ‘note’ could make everything right.

We could find out how it feels to live in the “only don’t know.” Or at least the “only don’t judge.”

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