Follow the Leader

I take pride in being able to lead and in being competent to handle most of what life throws at me. I can even be a bit smug about some things I particularly value — like having a good sense of direction, generally being on time (or early) and being organized.

But sometimes it’s good to just follow.

Saturday we had a SPACIOUS event in New York. It was a “walkabout” with Ryan Holladay of Bluebrain, a band I love. He led us through parts of Central Park, for which he and his partner (and brother) Hays Holladay have created a location-based iPhone app. Every inch of the park has music composed for it, with the original work changing based on where you go. You can read more about it here.

What I’m celebrating here is the beauty of having no idea where you’re going and being able to trust someone who does. That’s how I felt in the park, near the back of a meandering line of people with headphones in our ears, simply following Ryan and pausing from time to time to hear his thoughts on the music, the park, or the creative process.

I never knew about “the Mall” nor “the Ramble.” I’d never been to Belvedere Castle, the highest point in the park. I’d been to the Sheep Meadow but never marched through it in procession. I’d been to Strawberry Fields but never while listening to music that had a nod in it to the Beatles.

In short, someone else’s guidance and creativity gave me new ears and eyes on a fairly familiar place. And I enjoyed that.

There are so many metaphors for this in life, obviously.

Whom do we allow to lead us (even if we’re competent)? Whom do we trust to provide us new perspective (even if we like our own)?

What a relief it is to just know that someone else knows more than I do about something and I can simply yield and follow.

I loved that on Saturday. I love it when I allow it in my life.


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