Friday, March 2, 2007

Flashes of Brilliance

This morning, while I was drinking my coffee, I purposefully sat where I could keep an eye on a growing band of orange spreading along the eastern sky, signs of the brilliant orb that has been making very infrequent appearances in these parts of late. I could spy some ragged patches of blue amongst the gunmetal gray clouds skidding across the sky, and in the time it took to write a sentence or two in my morning pages notebook, a burning orange ball was staring me in the face, a regular "full monty" of sun flashing through the overcoat of cloudcover. Alas, within the blink of an eye, the trenchcoat was wrapped tightly around it once more, and that fickle sun was gone for the remainder of the day.

What a perfect metaphor for my life this week, I thought, turning my head away from the window, and concentrating on the words flowing from my pen, for it seems that gray skies have been dogging me lately, with only an occasional flash of crimson brightness to clear the air.

Yesterday was such a flash - oh, certainly not the weather, which was a virtual deluge of icy rain, creating lakes of half-frozen slush everywhere, as if the sky were a giant slurpee machine run amok, overflowing onto the earth below. No, it wasn't yesterday's weather, which was definitely March coming in at it's lionhearted best. Yesterday, it was the music creating a mighty flash of brilliance.

It was choral festival yesterday, a performing competition for high school choirs across the state. Yesterday was one of those rare days when I was just "all about the music," as the kids would say, so on my game musically speaking, when performing is just about having fun and showing everyone what you can do. For that one brief shining moment, there are no worries about money, or chores, or old houses with leaky plumbing and damp basements ~ for just a few minutes it's all gone, disappeared in the words, and the rhythm, and the excitement of the music you're making.

When it's over~when the last chord (a brilliant, triumphant Hurrah! of a chord) has faded into the air, ringing clearly off the stage and into the ears of the audience, and you're swept up in the waves of applause and cheers~when you're slammed back into the cloud covered world of real life, you stand there blinking a little in the dim light of that reality. You take a moment to adjust, just a brief double take of the soul, as you remember~oh, yes, I'm really just a middle aged woman with groceries to buy and bills to pay and a family to worry about.

Somehow, though, that flash of brilliance stays with you a while. That one burst of lightning, and all the others little bursts so like it that you've collected over the years doing this thing that you love so much, they help keep you afloat in this cloud covered world we call reality, a world that's not always beautiful, brilliant, or even bearable. A moment of sunshine, a flash of brilliance, to remember and to cherish.

So how about you? Where do you find your flashes of brilliance?



Anonymous susanlavonne said...

Wow...I don't know where I find my "flashes of brilliance" (assuming I even have any)...but I sure find inspiration in your writing.
FANTASTIC piece Becca!!!

Blogger Tammy said...

You could not have explained my winter cabin fever better. I need a "flash of brilliance" right about now. Your posts are so well written and that is inspiring me to read some of the books you have mentioned. Awesome!

Blogger Star said...

What a beautifully descriptive piece of writing--the overflowing slurpee machine! ;-)

We had bright sunshine and now that evening is upon us th wind has gentled to a more standard breeze and there is hope in my heart for a day of melting tomorrow.

I don't think I get very many flashes of brilliance, but one thing that always sparks me is when I get the hook in a difficult NYT Sunday crossword. I know I'm going to triumph when I get that first long clue to click.

Blogger Jerri said...

Here's wishing you many, many more "regular full-monty" s of sun, and a future filled with flashes of brilliance.

Wonderful piece.

Blogger Bitterroot said...

Very thought-provoking post - I know so well what you are saying about the music. I've been listening to Missa Gaia, a piece by Paul Winter, and it never fails to transport me.

Great blog by the way!

Blogger paris parfait said...

I remember those choral festivals (I was in choirs all through school). What fun! As for flashes of brilliance, I never know when they're coming - usually when I least expect them! Lovely writing, Becca.


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