I feel like Re-Pete. Re-Pete was sitting on a fence. Re-Pete fell off. Repeat. Or something like that.
If you've ever memorized something for a skit, play or musical performance, you know what I'm talking about, unless you're blessed with the memory skills I wish I had. I suppose even with great memories, other parts of the body usually have some catching up to do. I'm at the stage now where the Schumann score finally is in my head but I have two problems -- sometimes my fingers don't go where my brain wants them to, and other times my (conscious) brain can't keep up with my fingers.
As a late teenager I was told if you don't already have a hefty repertoire it's too late to make it as a concert pianist -- not to mention technique, interpretation and charisma. Law school beckoned.
I don't regret my choice of careers and I still find satisfaction "solving" legal problems, but I can't say I've ever "loved the law" like some of my colleagues. One of my law school classmates raised his eyebrows when I said I'd move to New York in a heartbeat if the Metropolitan Opera offered me a contract. He said, "Not really?" Maybe he thought I was wacko, but I interpreted his comments more as "what are you doing in law school if you don't love the law with all your heart?"
Of course, my statement was loaded with impossible assumptions, most importantly, that my talent was worthy of the Met stage. I meant, if I'd had that kind of talent, I'd have headed for New York. A few years later I auditioned for the Washington Opera and could have cried when the director asked if I had considered Broadway shows. Deep down I knew I was much more suited to legal analysis than singing and dancing on a stage.
"Ta, ta," says Virginia.
"Yes, there's you," I say. "I made it, didn't I?"
"In a sense," she says, "but remember, most people would say I flopped. Think of Salinger. What was it he wrote? Something like 'Just because I'm so horribly conditioned to accept everybody else's values, and just because I like applause and people to rave about me doesn't make it right. I'm ashamed of it. I'm sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody. I'm sick of myself and everybody else that wants to make some kind of a splash.'"
2 weeks ago