Yesterday I entered what Meg Cabot likes to call the Suck Zone. It's kind of like the Twilight Zone, but instead of everything being totally weird, everything just totally stinks! After a really awful workday, I headed home only to find the rabbit we thought we saved dying, and even though after consulting a vet I knew things were very likely to end that way, it was especially hard to handle when I was already having a horrible day. Then while I was talking to Larry about it and trying not to cry, he dropped one of my new dishes and it shattered all over the floor. Yes, there was no doubt about it; my day was sucktastic.
I just wanted to crawl into bed and spend the whole evening there, but our friend John Hall was performing as a featured soloist with the Ohio State Symphony, and Larry and I wanted to be there to support him so we headed out. We knew where to park, but we weren't really sure where the concert hall was. We started wandering in what we hoped was the right direction, and that's when my luck began to change because as we looked around in confusion we saw a man in a tuxedo running by struggling to carry a huge bass and suddenly we knew who to follow.
We made it to our seats just as the lights started to dim and we could see our new friend on stage, the only bass player missing his bow-tie. The performance was exactly what I needed. It's hard to fret about being in the Suck Zone when you're listening to such incredible music. The symphony always just seems to wash over me and absorb into my mind until there's isn't room in there to think about anything else.
I don't know John Hall as well as I know his wife Amy and to know Amy is to be edified by Amy. I'm always in awe of how much she knows. She used to be an editor for the Chicago Sun-Times and now even though she has her hands full with a very busy two-year-old, she attend my children's literature book club, another book club, and she leads a current affairs discussion group. When she emailed me the concert details she told me that the other piece the orchestra is playing is Sheherezade, and I was like, "Ummmm . . . ok . . . that's great . . . I guess?" I guess I still have a lot to learn from her.
Watching John play I just sat there thinking that I couldn't believe that I actually knew that guy up there (not in an I-know-the-star-of-the-show-and-am-therefore-cool-by-association sort of way). I feel that way every time I see one of my friends or family members excel in something they are passionate about. When I watched my brother-in-law Mark star in a one-man show that he wrote or when I saw a girl that I grew up with in Hawaii starring in the Broadway's Hairspray or when I saw pictures from my dad's solo photography exhibit at BYU those people shine. It's hard to look at them up there and remember that that's the same person that used to tuck me in or that's the person I stayed up with last night playing games until 3 a.m. They're all normal people, but when you give them the opportunity to share something they are passionate about, you get insight into an amazing part of them you might not see on a day-to-day basis.
It makes me wonder two things:
1. Do I give the people around me a chance to show me that side of themselves?
2. What am I passionate about and do I share that with other people?