Friday, September 9, 2005

On the road

I’m not too far away, but still sleeping in a bed that’s not my own, which is especially difficult tonight because I’m not getting to snuggle with our new kitty, Cleo! (I promise I’ll post pictures upon my return.) I’m just outside of Portland, OR, where I’m singing a Mozart Requiem on Sunday. On the way down this afternoon, I was listening to it in the car, driving by flag after flag flying at half-mast, and I was suddenly overwhelmed with emotions -- with sadness, of course, for the thousands of people dealing with the loss of loved ones this week (this concert is held annually on September 11, but it will be the victims of Hurricane Katrina that will be in everyone’s hearts this year, I think). But perhaps even more than sadness, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of gratitude, that I have the opportunity to sing this great work, that provides both comfort and a way to mourn for so many people. In times like this, I am struck by the reality that we as performers are servants, in the best sense of the word. We are servants to our audience, yes, and also to the universe, to the spirits of the composers and the pieces we are asked to perform. I suppose we are ourselves mediums of sorts, letting the healing and cathartic powers of this music flow through us to those, hopefully, who need it most. And, amazingly, through this, we ourselves are healed. In the car this afternoon, I knew, perhaps more intensely than ever, that this is what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. This is the gift I can give back, in my own small way, to the world. If even one person leaves on Sunday evening feeling touched by what we’ve done, then we will have done our jobs.

4 comments:

Ariadne said...

I am truly and deeply touched by your words and your perspective on life and your chosen career.

It has been a very difficult time for those in New Orleans and indeed those of us here in the rest of the country, the overwhelming sadness and despair and not knowing what more to do beyond giving to the Red Cross and sending blankets and baby formula.

I think you are aboslutely right, this is what we do, this is what each person can do, in whatever field they have chosen. We can each re-dedicate ourselves to serving others through developing and sharing our unique gifts.

You truly inspire me! Thank you for your words and your great spirit.

Ariadne said...

Still feeling awed and inspired by your post.

Yesterday, I started thinking that maybe I'm supposed to become a Cantor, not for formal services, but use my little singing gift as some kind of a Chaplain.

You're the first person I've confided this idea to ...

Melissa said...

Hi, Andrea,

I think that's a great idea! I actually started singing as a cantor before I even began studying voice seriously. It started out as just a job and an opportunity to sing, but it has turned in to something much more spiritually fulfilling than I could have imagined at first. Good luck!

Ariadne said...

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : )

... hey, is there an emoticon for smiling and laughing with a few sweet little tears?

I posted something about being singers on my blog, see if you agree.

Sincerely, somewhat sisterly and definitely "singerly",

Andrea B.