If music be the food of love, play on!
-Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare
The three nouns in that sentence have laced my life over the last many weeks. And as always, with them, my life is all the richer. Music. Food. Love. What words! And what a universe unwrapped!
As we move through life, we can always use an upgrade, a refilling of the stuff that suffuses us and keeps us sane, focused and hopeful. Mine was a triple shot concoction: this dizzying exploration of food and food makers in metro Jackson, a trip onto the stage of actors and acting courtesy of New Stage Theatre’s swirling Shakespeare In Love, and the discovery of a world untraveled by me, the opera, through Mississippi Opera’s soaring Turandot.
Indeed, play on!
Surrounded as we are by our own fabulous and unparalleled culture, we sometimes float on the genius and possibilities those artists, our touchstones and mentors and even neighbors, have placed in our own backyards. I am always thankful for such riches and aware of the unique nearness of creativity. And then as suddenly as a thought, fourteen lines of ten syllables of perfect understanding or as many notes of searing emotion and I am, as are we all, transported, brightened and thrilled and risen to a new place. We are lucky to be where we are, among the ghosts and giants of our place…and we are gifted to be among those who can take us beyond, to the places they know, to the words and notes and images they feel, to the people and times they can create.
Life is made richer by simple things, by the tiniest of turns and the merest of moments. Most often, these are moments presented to us on pages, through sight and sound, vibration and light. When those moments are weaved together in an evening’s encounter, a fortnight’s construction, or a month’s comprehension, we experience the repercussion of a civilization’s essence and requirement, and the consequence of a people’s gift and realization.
These are the things we share: the things we pick up and pass along; the things we understand and explain; the things we hold and give. Each time we reach out, to soothe, to engage, to allay, we share something only we can give, we share what we have, we share something we know. Expecting nothing in return.
We are brought together in those moments we are together, gathered by expectation: hope, faith, illumination; joined by emotion: joy, sadness, enlightenment; bound by brilliance: genius, ephemeral, everlasting. The tariff of life is simply to engage, to seek not just something more, but those things different, those times distant, and those places foreign, within you and without you.