After a long journey through NaNo land, I am watching as others cram to finish, to push the final leg, and am reminded of a tale that was shared with me long, long ago. I do not know the original author, nor am I certain I will tell it as well as it is from memory now, though I’m certain to have the original somewhere. I hope that it instills the same motivation and powerful awareness of the power you hold within you.
A mother, frustrated with her young son for his apparent lax attitude toward his lessons and practice took him to the concert hall. The Maestro was giving a concert and she hoped that he would take inspiration from seeing someone so accomplished. As they walked down the aisle to their seats, she cautioned him to remember his manners, not fidget in his seat, and to be on his best behavior. The crowd was all decked out in the evening finery, men in coat tails and women in gowns bedecked in jewels. This was a momentous night. Sitting uncomfortably, trying not to fidget, looking around at all of the adults and taking in the noise of the crowd his young eyes fixed on the stage and the immense black grand piano sitting at the center. As his mother turned to converse with those around their seats, he was fascinated. Fixated. Drawn and compelled. He just had to know. Before anyone was the wiser as no one was watching him, he quietly slipped from his seat and followed the gravitational pull of the beautiful instrument that called him. Making his way onto the stage he walked carefully, doing nothing to break the spell. Sitting up on the bench, his feet could not touch the floor or the pedals, but the circle was complete when he laid his hands on the keys. Being rather averse to practicing he knew nothing by heart, save Chopsticks, and so he began plucking out the simple tune. The hall slowly stilled as the guests in the audience turned toward the stage, a pulsing shock as they discovered the boy, and then a barrage of noise as they exclaimed their outrage.
“Get that child off the stage. How dare he touch The Maestro’s instrument. WHO brought a disrespectful child here?” And so on.
The Maestro backstage, heard the commotion, quickly ascertained what was happening, clicked his cuff links and walked briskly onto the stage amid the commotion, quieting the patrons gently with his hands. As he reached the piano and the small boy sitting there he leaned over him and said,
“Don’t stop. Keep going. Whatever you do, don’t stop.”
The boy continued playing while The Maestro leaned over him and then sat beside him, improvising a counter melody to the simple Chopsticks. Over an over that night they played, not the program as stated, but an improvisation on Chopsticks. At the end of the evening The Maestro thanked the boy for his assistance and handed him off with a few quiet words to a stunned mother.
Now, I am not The Maestro, but I say to all of you who are remiss in your lessons and out of practice in your craft, or just a little behind, a bit frustrated with the journey ahead, still dreaming, or well on your way to a new success…
Don’t stop. Keep going. Whatever you do, don’t stop. Keep dreaming. Keep reaching. Find the magic and share.