My American friends have just celebrated their Thanksgiving, and that means we're diving headlong into the cacophonous madness that is the Christmas season. It is not my favourite time of year, because if I believed everything I saw on tv or heard on the radio or saw on the internet or read in the flyers, we're all supposed to be running around like crazy people buying up all the junk and getting completely stressed out over it. It's not what I think it should be about, but that's a rant for another day...
Instead, I am inspired by things coming together and falling perfectly into place, and people finding themselves doing the things they were born to do. Last week, I read this wonderful article about a violinist and her journey to the opportunity to play a rare and one-of-a-kind violin. She got the opportunity through the Stradivari Society, a special organization that is "dedicated to the preservation of and pursuit of excellence in classical music by identifying the world's most promising young artists and uniting them with the superb Italian instruments they need to help launch and sustain their professional careers"
What I love about this story is that she didn't just get lucky: she didn't have just one great audition and she didn't happen to know the right people. She was born for this: she was born on the night her father was one of the first to play Western classical music after the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Maybe I'm a romantic, but I love that her destiny is being fulfilled.
And I'm not stupid: I know that she didn't get this opportunity through raw talent. She goes through hours and hours of dedicated training, complete with sore muscles, strained eyes and weary fingers. Perhaps that is what makes it so inspiring for me: every single moment had its purpose.
It gives me hope... me, this person who struggles to find a path most days, who is unsure of her reason for being, and who watches with envy those who have clear passions and clear goals. I wander through each day, trying my best when I am feeling good and struggling forward when I am not. It gives me hope to know that, if the pieces fall into place for others, perhaps it will for me as well.
This is one of my favourite violin pieces, Nocturne by Le Van Khoa, something I heard one day and never forgot. I heard it in my head as I read this article, and even if you don't really enjoy classical music, I share it in the hopes that you can at least hear the joy in the violinist's fingers. It is the sound of someone who is right where they need to be. Perhaps I am there, too. I hope that I can realize that for myself someday as well.