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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I Wish I Could

One day when I was walking from my apartment to the mailbox, I heard a lovely voice singing from the second-floor apartment above my next-door neighbor. My ears perked up. Was someone listening to opera? I heard it on and off a few times, and one day I heard a male voice singing a snippet of an Italian aria. I happened to check my mail at the same time as my neighbor, and asked him if they were opera singers. He said yes, he hoped that they weren't bothering us, and to let them know if they did. "Bothering us? Sing with all of your windows open if you want to, I think it's cool." And I meant it. Although I have never had the opportunity to go to an opera, I love to hear beautiful singing. 

I wish I could sing. I know, "everyone can sing." But not everyone can do it well. What does it feel like, I wonder, to be able to pour forth sounds so beautiful that they can make people laugh or cry? I will never know the answer to this. But I suppose that as much as we need singers, they need an audience. I am a very appreciative listener. If I had any bravery at all, I would tell The Opera Kids, as we call them, that if they ever need to practice in front of an audience, I'll be there at the drop of a hat. Heck, I'll even bring refreshments!

Another thing I wish I could do is dance with the grace of Fred Astaire. And no, I don't want to dance like Ginger Rogers. There is a saying that Ginger did everything that Fred did, but that she did it backward and in high heels. Whoever was the first to make that statement hasn't seen a lot of Fred's movies. Ginger never danced with a coat rack. Or on the ceiling. She was one heck of a dancer, but the one I would emulate would be Fred. This is a man who was so graceful that when he walked across a room, it was like a dance. Unfortunately for me, my feet seem to be embedded in the floor. I have not been blessed in the terpsichorean arts. AKA, I can't dance worth a plug nickel. But I can certainly recognize and appreciate good dancing when I see it, and it truly moves my soul.

I wish I could write things that loads and loads of people would love to read. I don't want to be famous. I love words, and I have a pretty decent vocabulary. I recently came across a notebook that somehow stayed with me from my high school days. In it, I had written, "I would like my gravestone to read, She Was a Writer." I took some stabs here and there at writing some stories, but I didn't know what I was doing. My use of the language was okay, but I didn't really know anything about the subjects I was trying to write about. I mean, I was a history major and all, but what did I really know about daily life in ancient Egypt? And who wants to read that junk anyway?

What I do know about are the things I experience and see and form opinions about on a daily basis. When I sit down at my computer to write, I am not creating fiction. I am sharing a bit of my life, a bit of my soul, a bit of me. As I write, I wonder if anyone will like it. Will they see a part of themselves in the words I give them? May they possibly find a little joy or sadness or surprise in my ramblings? I hope so. Because like the singer or the dancer, I am nothing without an audience. They may not always like the rhythm or the steps, but they keep me trying to be the person I wish I could be.