Something I Don't Understand
A coworker handed me a postcard the other day for an upcoming piano concert. (His son takes piano lessons from the performer's mother, which has nothing whatsoever to do with the story, but there it is.) The pianist is seventeen years old, and the blurb includes the following statements:
Adam has performed with the Houston Symphony twice. He is tall and confident, and owns the stage the moment he strides toward the piano. "Nothing makes me happier than performing," he says. "I love the entire experience; the music, the audience--everything."
Imagine that. "Owning the stage" at seventeen. It must be a heady sensation. I know there are child prodigies and whatnot, but by the time you're 17, surely you realize that you might make a mistake and life isn't fair and you've got a zit on the end of your nose and your girlfriend is acting funny.... But despite all that, you walk out on a stage, under a spotlight, in front of a paying audience, and you play the piano for them, and you enjoy it. That is completely unfathomable to me.
We all have our daily obstacles to overcome, of course, but last time I checked, nobody gets accolades or "owns the desk" for not breaking into a nervous sweat at the sight of a differential equation or a recursive function. Which may be just as well, actually, now that I think about it.