Monday, May 18, 2009

The Abundance of Talents

Yesterday I took my mom to a local arts center to see the opera "I Pagliacci". It was completely wonderful and professional. Every singer, every scene, every instrumental note. The theater held less than 200 people by my estimate. It was a Sunday afternoon in a relatively small town and the talent blew me away. The singers were, in fact, all professionals, all worthy of a professional opera company - but here they were in a tiny theater singing their hearts out. It made me think of all the talent that abounds everywhere and how we choose to pursue those gifts.
Most of us discovered something we could do - or at least wanted to do - in our youth. Then, depending on our life circumstances we may have been given lessons
or taught ourselves - we may have been encouraged or discouraged by the people in our lives at the time.
I have been compelled throughout my life to express myself through singing, art and now, at a much advanced age - writing. I still feel that I am new to writing poetry and yet, I can see that it's a perfect avocation for me to pursue through the rest of my life, and I have been fortunate to have been encouraged in my poetic pursuits along the way. I still love playing the guitar and make occasional attempts at reviving this love - and then I think - Aw heck, who wants to hear an old lady pretending to be a hippie playing her guitar and singing. And yet - hmmmm maybe you're never too old.
My point is that there is SO much talent in us all and of course we can't all make a living at the things we enjoy doing the most. There are only a few who get to do that - or get recognition for their abilities. The rest of us do it for the love of it - as we should.
I'm reading a book called Ordinary Genius by poet Kim Addonizio. She tells of how she tried to be a classical singer with no background knowledge of what that took. She failed and tried a couple other things, but in her thirties discovered poetry. She says that the premier poetry journal called Poetry has about ten thousand subscribers, but every year has ten times that amount of submissions. That could mean that ten times more people are writing poetry than actually reading it! There is so much talent! But should we stop using our gifts? If you've read this blog for any length of time you know that I firmly believe God gives us gifts to be used. I am glad that the opera singers yesterday shared their gifts whether there were 200 or 2000 people listening.


Lena said...

I hope you keep playing the guitar if you love to!!

Watching Oprah today and the most talented kids just made me cry. I think they are so lucky to know so young what they want to do and have the confidence that goes along with the talent.

74WIXYgrad said...

Very well put with the exception of one thing, and I write this as one three years past the half century mark: Would you please quite referring to yourself in ways that make you sound like you're old?

I do thank you for being encouraging in your writing.

John Ettorre said...

All well said. Thanks for the crucial reminder about what a rare gift it is indeed to make one's living from that which you love best.