Ever get the impression that you may have wasted your youth?
Last week I went to the Art Gallery at lunch to see a concert. (I know, sounds just like me right?) I felt like a fraud walking in (modern art = not my thing), but I really enjoyed the music.
I enjoyed it that is, right up until I realized that the very talented person playing the music was born in 1997. 1997! Do that math, I did. (Slowly, in my non-child-prodigy way.)
Not only was she playing a concert for dozens of people in the Art Gallery, she was playing songs she had written for MULTIPLE INSTRUMENTS. She played the piano and had someone accompany her for a while on the clarinet. Sure. Whatever, no big deal.
I had nearly come to terms with her amazing skill, largely by convincing myself that she was some sort of freak of nature that was only good at one thing, even if that one thing was being a brilliant musician.
“Sure she can play the piano like an angel and compose music that made me imagine people waltzing among our chairs, but I bet that’s all she can do. I bet she couldn’t name all the characters on all the Star Treks. Ha!”
Then just when my ego was about to recover, she stood up to explain her next piece, in French. (Translating the title so we would understand.) Do you know the word for “cricket” or “lady bug” in French? She did.
Then to make matters worse, this week there are all sorts of inspirational stories in the news about our Olympic athletes. Physically gifted and dedicated youth who spin through the air and sweep across the ice filling me with patriotic pride, and the teesiest bit of horrendous green-eyed monster.
I considered hiding under my blankets, or watching reality TV (there’s always someone to feel superior to on TLC) but then the Universe threw me a bone. I saw an article on CBC about the genetics of athletes. Apparently being mediocre and lazy as a youth is totally not my fault. Just like brown eyes y’all, I was born this way.
(But just in case I’m going to the gym tomorrow. And writing an extra few hundred words. Maybe someone will be jealous of me one day.)
Music can create images in our mind. One of the songs I listened to at the concert was supposed to bring to mind different insects. I was blown away by how easily I could hear the personality of each insect in the music; the frantic intensity of ants, the slow lope of a butterfly visiting flowers. What instrument would you use to make people think of you, or of your characters? Happy writing.