Monday, February 25, 2008

Inpirations, Hopes, Dreams

I should be going to bed now so that I can be somewhat well rested to catch the bus with the orchestra at 6:30am, but I am not sleepy yet.

I’ve been entranced with awards shows this week. Occasionally, while wasting time on youtube, I dare to dream a little dream and watch excerpts from the Kennedy Center Honors from years past. I did so this week, and found myself inspired. I am inspired by the work, dedication, commitment and perseverance that so many of these honorees gave to their art. To think that Beverly Sills had to audition for New York City Opera seven times in order to make her debut there, that Leon Fleisher continued to make music despite not having use of his right hand for so many years, or to think that African-American honorees such as Leontyne Price, Ruby Dee, and Ossie Davis overcame prejudice and segregation in order to become artistic leaders is awe-inspiring. It takes unimaginable tenacity to overcome such obstacles and to have such an impact on the world at large. The sum of their work is greatness, and for some reason, watching these clips this week, it dawned on me for the first time that such greatness takes years and years filled with a commitment to daily, hard work. The tributes to these people are touching, and filled my heart with awe, as they inspire the soul to aspire to greatness. Watching a Kennedy Center Honor tribute to Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn, I discovered this poem attributed to Apollinaire:

"Come to the edge."

"We can't. We're afraid."

"Come to the edge."

"We can't. We will fall!"

"Come to the edge."

And they came.

And he pushed them.

And they flew.

Hearing this for the first time this week, and watching these people be honored for the artistic contributions over the years, I thought to myself, “Why don’t I push myself further? Closer to the edge of my own dreams?”

Tonight’s acceptance speech by Marketa Irglova for the Oscar for Best Original Song was also something I found inspiration in. She said: “I just want to thank you so much. This is such a big deal, not only for us, but for all other independent musicians and artists that spend most of their time struggling, and this, the fact that we're standing here tonight, the fact that we're able to hold this, it's just to prove no matter how far out your dreams are, it's possible. And, you know, fair play to those who dare to dream and don't give up. And this song was written from a perspective of hope, and hope at the end of the day connects us all, no matter how different we are.”

So, it’s ok to dare to hope, and sometimes dreams do come true. And at the end of the day, the choice to do the work each day is what combines that hope and those dreams and brings them to the next level – faith.


Anonymous said...

Dear Nick,

Actually, the fantastic Beverly Sills only made it into the New York City Opera on her NINTH try. She was an still is a source of inspiration.

Best wishes,

Ann said...

Well said!