A welling

October 10, 2012

I used to take private violin lessons when I was a kid. Once a month we would hold a recital for all of Mrs. Perkins's students. It was extremely nerve wracking for a eight year old, to have to go to this thing where all eyes are on you, all your peers's, and all your peers's parents, as you perform. But I wonder sometimes, did that steel me for the rest of my life? Sure, I get the stomach curls whenever I have to present or whatever, but I'm usually okay when it comes time (emphasis on usually: I've messed up a few times, but I'm also probably the only one who hasn't forgotten yet).

Some of the others were pretty serious. They must have been in high school, and they must have been doing it for a while, because they were really good. Anyway, and this is all a blur, but every single recital, at some point, the top students would get together and perform Pachabel's Canon. Everyone knows that song. I like it a lot. But every month, the moment I dreaded wasn't when it was my turn to play. It was when that song started.

I would tear up. It was so bizarre. From the very first note, I would get this uncontrollable welling in my eyes, and I knew it was coming every single time, but I could never surpress it. I wasn't sad or anything. And I was pretty good at hiding it. But this welling would build until the sniffles came, and then the tears would push themselves out. Really, I wasn't sad about anything.

So what was it? Was I moved? I've been moved before, plenty of times, but I never see it coming. So this is different. I knew it would happen every time, without fail, and as hard as I tried to push it back, something inside me would stir. And I hated it. I think even back then I loved the song, so I hated the part of myself that was reacting like that. I would dab my shirt, sniffle, and a couple times I even excused myself and hid in the bathroom until the song was over. Whatever they played next didn't have any effect on me.

So here I am today, and I'm thinking, how amazing it would be to have a song like that, to make me well up every single time I listen to it. It happens, sometimes. I'll be in just the right mindset, and I'll listen to just the right song, it could be one I've never heard, or one that I've been looping for a while, but something will align and I will get the sniffles not from joy but something else, something that I think represents just liking something so much.

I still don't know if it's a good thing to have something affect you that much. I just know that I thought it sucked back then, and I think it would be awesome now. And I'd welcome it if I found it again. But I think we can play a part in it too. As we grow older, our minds are racing back and forth faster and further and in so many directions that this might not even happen for some people. I know I didn't think about any of the stuff I'm worried about now when I was a kid. I think I had room to let something affect me like that. But think, what if you paid attention? You don't have to find that rare gem that provides a miracle. Pay attention to how everything is already amazing.