Sunday, January 13, 2013

Memorable Notes

Music is a strange thing. I would almost say it is a miracle.
For it stands halfway between thought and phenomenon,
between spirit and matter.
~ Heinrich Heine

My life is filled with an amazing array of delights. There are times when the emotions these “delights” engender just about overwhelm my senses. Sometimes it’s simply the random juxtaposition of life’s occurrences—one simple, pure and totally enjoyable event followed by another, far different, yet in so many ways bringing the same spark to my world. In the past week I’ve experienced three of these memorable happenings. Each one involved music.

The opening chord came to me as a gift from a dear friend: an evening of Beethoven’s compositions.

Even though I played violin and cello as a young teen, I am no musical aficionado. Through the years I’ve attended several professional symphony performances and I rate some as riveting and lively and a few as boring dirges. This presentation held my rapt attention for the full 90 minutes.

After each piece the professional musicians merited and received round after round of applause and at the finale, standing ovations with “Bravo!” echoed throughout the concert hall.

Two hours before this performance my friend and I shared a relaxing, convivial dinner. Even though I had no expectations, I’m certain this helped set the stage for my enjoyment of the evening’s music.

Three days later, I joined my son and family at a spring musical performance by 1st and 2nd graders. My 6-year old grandson, bashful smiles coming in waves, stood in the second row with his “Army Ant” hat on, intently watching the entertaining and highly animated music teacher lead the group of fifty or more children in their songs.

I sat forward in my seat, smiling as I watched the young, intent, serious faces. As I listened to their sweet, clear voices, tears came to my eyes. So much hope in those voices, so much possibility in their small bodies and so very many mountains for them to climb. I pray we haven’t left them a world too broken to repair.

The next day another friend and I attended a senior theater group’s springtime musical, comedy and dance presentation. And, by “senior” I mean several decades old! The youngest performer of the 32 member cast is 65 and the oldest, a perfect imitator of Minnie Pearl, is 96.

I sat forward in my seat, smiling as I watched the seniors, so intent and focused as they tap-danced, sang and cracked jokes. Their verve and liveliness belied their calendar ages. As I listened and watched, tears came to my eyes. So much life has been lived by these amazingly agile and talented people, so many experiences, so many stories to tell, so many mountains climbed. I said a prayer of thankfulness because their enthusiasm gave me hope…for the children.

It's not that age brings childhood back again,
Age merely shows what children we remain.
~ Goethe