Tuesday, December 20, 2011

To be James...

This morning, over breakfast, I idly flipped through a calendar of upcoming events at the Kennedy Center in DC.  I happened upon the picture of James Gaffigan (shown below) who is scheduled to conduct the National Symphony Orchestra in a few months.  
I was surprised by how young he looked.  After breakfast, I did a little searching on this conductor and found the 32 year old studied a Julliard and has conducted for a number of orchestras all over the country.  That searching led me to his blog where his latest post told about his adventures in conducting the Vienna Philharmonic.  His tone was conversational - he seemed like a good friend sitting down to a cup of coffee with me, describing the rush of pulling together a piece of music at the last minute.  I understand that to some extent - as conductor of a ward choir, I am learning above all things how to be flexible.  However, I also have no concept of his life.  We're not talking about ward choir here; these are professional musicians who actually can pull off Boheme at the last minute.  I just stared at his blog post in shock.

You see, lately, I've realized, I don't often share much about my day-to-day life on my blog.  I don't write about the latest work in research.  I thought about trying to include more of the normal goings-on of my life.  When I think about what to write on a blog post, though, I often find myself grasping at straws.  What did I do today?  Ummm....

And yet, when this man goes to his computer, creates a new blogpost and asks himself the same question, the answer is something like, "I conducted professional musicians in Vienna."  I can't even imagine having those memories and images captured in the bank of my brain called, "my personal experiences".  It's baffling.

People like James Gaffigan actually lead lives like James Gaffigan.

This isn't jealous even though it may sound like it.  It's such sheer amazement.  As small and connected as this world sometimes seems, it still is so vast and diverse that one lifetime is not enough to even traverse the smallest fraction of it.

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