Byron's Babbles

Leading With Jollity

My dear friend, Christine Benson, who is chair-elect for the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) has introduced me to a new piece of culture: The Planets. This work took three years to compose (1914-1917) by Gustav Holst. Basically, the composer attributed characteristics to the seven planets of Mars, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Christine told me that I reminded her of Jupiter, the bringer of jollity. She told me that as the round-faced cheery uncle of all the planets, and king of the gods, Jupiter is impressive and majestic. I guess I lead with jollity. I love the fact that Holst was a student of astrology and horoscopes in the context of the planets inspiring music.

One description of the musical representation of Jupiter was that it took us on a whirlwind of emotions which was full of climatic passion, zeal and triumphant feelings. I was beginning to understand where Christine was coming from thinking this described me. With Jupiter, the air is full of life, joy, heroic and majesty. Jupiter brings jollity and is an up-lifter because it signifies happiness and abundance, expansion and brings a disposition of mirth, joyousness, hopefulness and trustworthiness, expectant and confident, and a desiring for devotion through service. Jupiter also transforms the mercurial, logical mind, bringing wisdom and understanding which promote nobility of thought and aspiration.

To immortalize my jollity, Christine had a caricature done representing me. I especially love that she had the artist do it using images she screenshot during Zoom meetings and things I have talked and mused about during meetings. This just goes to show that we really can get to know each other well in a virtual setting. That has been a silver lining of the pandemic that I do not want us to ever lose sight of. I love the substantive conversations in the virtual world that come from making a real connections with those who we are on line with. The power is always in the dialogue. It is about being human no matter whether we are in person or online; the power in interactions is to take time to truly and more deeply understand what each other is experiencing. Over the past couple of years we have created new patterns and rituals together. These new patterns and rituals bring a sense of structure, unity, and collaboration. Understanding what matters most to us and discovering who we might become, and then help as a result, is the real work of our lives. Let’s approach all this with jollity.