I wrote this story in 2008. Recent events inspired me to dust it off and share it with my brothers and sisters here…
Another Tuesday evening. I’m in my usual routine: dropping my 12 year old daughter off at her rehearsal with the Connecticut Children’s Chorus at the University of Hartford. Something’s different this week though…
Usually when her group rehearses it’s at a magnet elementary school on campus. This week their regular spot wasn’t available, so rehearsal was moved to the building on campus that houses the Hartt School of Music.
Quick background: the Hartt School is one of the most well respected music performance programs in the United States. It’s graduated more than its share of music superstars. And I love the fact that my little girl is part of it, at an early stage of her career.
I was a little bummed out because though I brought my laptop I knew there was no wireless access, like there is at the elementary school. I decided I’d pass the two hours by editing video, reading my book (which I forgot at home) and talking/texting with whichever friends I could reach during the dinner hour.
Something interesting happened though. I got Sarah to her rehearsal nice and early, then looked for a place to set up shop. I hadn’t been in this building in a couple of years, back when the younger kids group used to rehearse.
It was fun being back though. Performance rooms full of young, earnest, musicians. Some of them straight and serious, some of them goofy looking avant garde types, but all of them obviously loving what they do. Heard one playing some convoluted, complex but beautiful piece of music.
I saw and heard similar stuff going on with a flute and a trumpet. It was great, youthful energy. Think of the 1980 movie, Fame.
Then I peaked in one of the rooms and saw them…
Six cellos lined up neatly on a rack. They were in an inner office.
Having two musicians for kids, I’m used to instruments flying around. Jill, my older one plays the flute and trombone. Sarah plays the French horn, keyboard and is learning the guitar. It’s all good, noisy fun.
That, and when I saw “O” by Cirque Du Soleil in Las Vegas a few years back, the opening theme, played by a cellist cemented that instrument in my head as something beautiful…and exclusive.
So for some crazy reason, to see six of them just sitting there, waiting to be played by someone who is experiencing the love of music gave me a strange emotional reaction. And it gave me a different perspective on the concept of abundance.
There are all kinds of scarcity. Not enough food, not enough shelter, not enough heat, not enough money, not enough affection, fulfillment, etc. We all know them.
And there are all kinds of abundance. Plenty of food, comfort, love, security, beauty, plenty of the sublime, wonderful delicious sounds that go on in and around us.
The differences between scarcity and abundance are really nothing more than where we decide to tune in (no pun intended).
I looked at these instruments just sitting there waiting to be played. I realized the students who would be playing them aren’t all folks who grew up with mansions, servants and trust funds.
Sure, some of them had privileged backgrounds. I celebrate that. Their families figured out how to make the economic system work for them. They tapped into the same stream of abundance that’s really available to all of us, and they gave their children the opportunity to speak the language of music.
And some of them are first generation college students. They hooked on with a school music program. Someone identified a talented kid, nurtured that talent and turned out a young adult who is playing the cello.
It’s the Law of Attraction at its best. We desire something. Forces around us read that desire and line up the circumstances to make it happen.
And we allow it into our experience, through accepting the help of others and working our fingers to the bone, in joy and love.
The cello isn’t a rare thing. I saw six of them today! Somewhere in the world someone is making a new one right now! Same for the harp, the bassoon, the pipe organ and any other instrument you can think of.
Somewhere, someone is looking for a person with enough desire and patience to make something happen.
Who are you? Are you that superstar in training? Are you the future cellist, or public speaker, or graphic designer, or happily married soul?
Are you the person who has touched greatness and wants to help someone else get to that same wonderful place?
It’s not about how old you are. It’s not about what you do or don’t have. It’s barely about talent!
It is about opening your eyes, ears and heart to the beautiful music around you. See it, feel it, touch it.
Let the crazy, inspired energy carry you on the path to making it your own.
Your Musical Friend,