The “number of times watched”-counter on this must stand at something close to “20” over the last two weeks:
It is soooooo inspiring! And devastating at the same time. Because: Here I see (fragments of) the life I failed to go for. Or missed out on. Failed to fully manifest. Call it, what you want. How so? Short excursion for context, then back on point (which is #nihilism):
I remember this: I touched the string of my uncle’s guitar at age two. I was sold! Was made to learn other instruments before actually being allowed to move on to guitar at age 9. (local music teacher thought my fingers were too short. They still are. Doh!). The same teacher then had the presence of mind to realize that I was “underchallenged” and asked my home folks to allow me to learn a second instrument. I wanted the electric organ. They thought – upon advice of said local music school teacher – that the piano would be a better apt choice. I was mad then, but I no longer am.
Fast forward: Come age 14, two years into my piano lessons with a classically trained local music teacher, sent to the “outpost” of my home town by the congregation she was paid by. Two years into classical training once a week and I was religious about showing up prepared. Nobody needed to tell me or force me. I wanted to be prepared and the best version of me I possibly could be!
Fast forward again: The piano tuning guy we employed once a few months tunes the upright piano in our living room. He makes me audition for him (unbeknownst to me then). I play a few things. He then does a hearing test. Says “Perfect pitch” (or at least very near, I was nervous). Offers me a gig with his Big band some 10 miles away from our home town and which toured internationally and made the press regularly.
I tried to negotiate. I said, I’ll gladly drop any other activity, if I’ll just get to do this! Join the Big band. In the end, I basically begged. No way. I was told it was beyond our very meager budget to take me to rehearsals twice a week. (I must say, from today’s perspective I can understand that). I didn’t understand then.
And now I’m watching above Jacob Collier at MIT for some 20th time – and can’t help falling apart over it every time. Because, deep down, where the gut feeling of any person – screw that “soul” bullshit! – resides, I know that this should have been my life: Join that Big band, go for some more formal music training after High School, then go on and land me a “gig” with one such Big band. Tour the world with them, make a comfty living, maybe teach here and there.
Woulda, coulda, shoulda… I know. But… it feels pretty bad to now realize at a progressed age that I’ve missed my calling in life (or at the very least: That’s how it feels when watching the video, not meaning to liken my modest chops to those of Jacob’s…). On the other hand: I’m probably making too much of this. Life is happenstance anyway. We’re all here for some random quantum fluctuations some 13.8 billion years ago. And we’ll all be gone in the blink of an eye. It really, REALLY doesn’t matter at all! None of anything! (I failed to include a trigger warning in the beginning, sorry….)