31 October, 2006

my "old" life

When I was another age, major, in another town, trying to decide what I would do with my life, my normal routine was:

FIGHT about mideast public policy with other majors in our favorite class, DISCUSS daily most of the articles regarding international relations in the NYtimes and the BBC. READ at least three papers- Italian, French, Israeli in the original language online. WATCH political shows, FOLLOW the elections (oh 2004- remember when I cried in my dorm room at 3am?), try to PLAN how to save the modern middle east from civil war and possible nuclear proliferation with my best friend. Look up grants that would fund advanced placement highschools so I could be a guest lecturer at a school that I would set up which would teach kids about the international world, not just the US, and also have the best music and language program in the world. LISTEN to symphonies of Beethoven and discuss them. Listen to the German Requiem and conduct it in my PJs from my X-long twin sized bed across from my best friend and roommate who was working on a public policy final paper. Read Milan Kundera. Read histories, biographies, the greatest novels of our time perhaps.

Not everyone around me did the same thing, but many of my peers and surroundings lent themselves to this kind of discourse. The singing world outside of academia is so different. I don't think I've spoken once to an artist about policy, about any current event, about anything other than when their last coaching was, how their voice did that night, how much emergen-C they took that morning, what auditions they're doing.

In one week I'm going to be leaving here and traveling to NYC for a few auditions. And THEN traveling around the East coast visiting friends, family, schools, teachers, etc. I think this break is very much needed, if not from the hard work I've put in here, then for the actual contact with a "real" world. Of course, my world is real now because I am being paid to be a professional singer. But that is not all that I am!

I still read those papers, I still crave the stimulation of heated conversation about topics that have nothing to do with the voice, yet have everything to do with music, art, passion, life, war, tragedy, peace.

I find myself asking whether I will find that again. I still have those friends, but we are no longer in a competitive university environment where the hotheaded youths and leaders of tomorrow gather to let their ideas flow freely and idealistically.
They have day jobs, they are in law schools, they have husbands or wives, and even though I know that flicker is still inside them, as it is inside me, I don't know how to make it come alive again- or even whether I could- or whether it would even be the same.


1 comment:

Embly said...

hmm I appear to be living in your old life and beginning to try to move into a life much like what you do now. For better or worse there is a certain type of discorse that seems to be limited to a collegate atmosphere...don't worry it doesn't mean that you'll never get to be erudite again, people will just look at you funny ;-)