Saturday, February 14, 2009
When I was a child, I had a small book by Charles Schultz called "Happiness is..." My favorite page was Happiness is a warm blanket. Here's a variation on that beautiful idea.
Love is going to a classical music concert even though you don't really like that sort of thing. It included dressing in more than jeans, which is also not your speed. It wasn't a great concert; you smiled and held my hand.
Love is whispering at the intermission that we're among the youngest here. It's looking into the balcony and realizing that classical music concerts are a dying art form and this may have been one of many memorial services. Love is remembering the dead, honoring the living. Love is the snoring behind me, the lady with the real fur, his dusty wingtips. Love is the man who conducts from the 12th row, his combover flapping gently.
Love is laughing with the percussionist who got to play the contemporary piece. One of the many unusual percussive devices used was a ping pong ball in a jar. You asked if it would be on his resume some day-I played ping pong ball with the chamber orchestra. "Yes," we pretend that he says, clearing his throat and trying to look modest, "I play first-ball". Asking him in person, we found out it was his first time playing a ball in public. Love is a smirk and a chuckle.
Love is nachos and beer after Beethoven. Love is talking late into the night; Beethoven suffered deafness because of his mother's syphilis and liked beer too. It is realizing that sometimes you need to see poor concerts to appreciate really great ones and that all live performances are exciting. Love is watching a paid professional group of musicians that plays together every day almost lose the beat. It is realizing our volunteer musician group can almost lose it too and that it's ok. No, it's much better than ok-it's real and it's the love between us that makes it palpably special.
Love is being part of life, not a perfect life, but a real one. Love lifts us all.
"Take away love and our earth is but a tomb.". Robert Browning