Last night I was at a Middle School music concert with choir and jazz and concert bands. I loved it. There were a couple of painful moments…like when the 7th grade soloist’s voice broke, when the 8th grade back up singers started in on the wrong part…but this is the whole point…..kids learning performance. It’s not perfect the first time. My heart soared when they got it right and sunk when they did not do as well as they expected…and you could read it on their inexperienced faces.
What surprised me (though it probably should not have) was how many of the audience were not really present. There was the dad to my front and left who worked a crossword puzzle the entire time we were there. There was the teenage brother, so cool, with his ear buds, enjoying a different music. There were several parents/grandparents so busy with the video/photo shoot that they could not possible have noticed the actual performance. But maybe they will enjoy the recording of it just as much as the real thing.
I have stopped carrying a book to read “in line” or at the auto dealership. I have stopped trying to mentally transport myself to another place when I find myself in unpleasant circumstances (some would count a beginning band concert here.) I am beginning to learn to just be in the place and time that I find myself. It is not always “fun,” but it is always interesting, and I learn so much it is worth the inconvenience.
How about you? What is a hard circumstance for you to just be present? I confess, social chit-chat with the kid’s dad after the performance was hard. Darn it. Still.