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Can we engage The Middle?

by | Nov 22, 2021 | engage, The Middle, The Moody Blues

This was posted on September 21, 2020… the Fall Equinox – the day that we move from summer to fall officially (at least in Astronomy). The sun will be right over the equator at 9:30 am Tuesday EDT, and thus within some tolerance, everyone on the planet has exactly the same amount of light and dark. So at least for one day, we all have about the same – The Middle – 12 hours of each. And if you remember your trigonometry, we are on the part of the curve that has the steepest slope and thus, we are at the time of year when the days are changing length the fastest. Which has caused me to think about The Middle – something that everyone talks about but, like the days, changes fastest when you are near it.. or does it?

… more interesting: what music to use to support The Middle – what exactly would The Middle of music look like? (… you are now wondering about me I know – who thinks about stuff like that?). Bands with Jazz, Blues, Rock, and even Pop – those are straightforward… but throw in Classical — which honestly I don’t know a lot about but, I feel like should be on the graph somewhere — which artist’s work can claim to all of that? I would argue The Moody Blues… and you can argue the point, and I would love to hear your own interpretation, but there you have it. It doesn’t hurt that their albums are also amazingly full of great commentary about times that are a lot like what we are in.

The band started in a suburb of Birmingham, England with members coming from different bands that had broken up. Military service and college had pulled some out of town, and the remaining members came together and convinced the manager to become their drummer. Graeme Edge would hold down that slot for their entire history, and was the author of some of the more memorable songs, but is most well known as the poet of the many spoken word portions of their catalog. The band name started as an homage to a local Beer – Mitchells and Butler’s – and they called themselves “The M B’s” … but when that sponsorship fell through, they went to The Moody Blues – a reference to Mood Indigo by Duke Ellington. Today’s video also shows you a young Brian Epstein at 2:30… and features Dean Jones as a DJ ….which seems very odd. 😉

So what exactly is The Middle? As with this week, we will have days that are almost exactly the same number of hours of daylight and darkness. But since we spend some portion of the dark sleeping (or trying to) we have more “time” in the daylight. But that also now we are learning is balancing family and work in a new way. And even that may be a fool’s errand — can we actually find The Middle of time spent with people we love… and people that we work with? How do we determine the balance that is appropriate there — and what we can do to change that balance is something the Moody’s would eventually write about themselves.

At least in our house, the Equinox is a day that is always circled on our calendar, as my wife is not a fan of summer, and more importantly, she likes that it means the golf course will be closing soon. Our daily walks have become a ritual, mirroring my writing as something that helps things feel “normal” even when so much doesn’t. One thing I have noticed is most everyone thinks they are “in the middle”… class, political, road, biases… it is those “other” people that are not The Middle. As with all change, as we engage in thinking about The Middle, consider that perhaps it isn’t where you are… that actually you may be part of the change we want and need. Perhaps as we follow the musical journey with the Moody’s, it will become clearer where we all need to… Go Now.

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