The sense of belonging
Today, after a punishing session at the gym, I watched with Charl a few episodes of Glee (from the beginning of the first season). I know it’s old, but I had never seen it. I don’t have a TV, let alone satellite TV and it’s not something Charl would ordinarily watch or download for us, being of a ‘musical’ and ‘teen’ nature.
It’s charming and funny and I love the music. They have some amazing voices on the cast and the dancing and themed choreography is fun. Show choirs is something I wish we had in this country.
What really struck me as I watched was the truth they express that performing in a choir or musical ensemble is something wonderful. It gives you a sense of belonging, of being part of something bigger and having a place in the world. Whenever I, over the years since I finished school, have watched programmes or movies like this, they made me long for my old school days in a way nothing else does. I’ve occasionally toyed with the idea of auditioning for an ad hoc choir, but to be part of and contribute to something like that means absolute commitment . No missing practice for any reason except life, death or grave illness. That was easy to do in school, but not something I can offer anymore. Aside from commitments like work (which sometimes means I keep odd hours), there are people and causes in this world that supersede all other affiliations. If they call a meeting or request my presence, even out of the blue, there’s not even a matter of asking why, or weighing up if I had something better to do. Plans are changed, schedules are shifted, and I will be there no matter what. And I am truly blessed to have something in my life that demands of my heart and being such commitment (my dogs are another matter entirely – I am speaking here strictly of things people do).
BUT, I will say this… that if ever, by some unexpected twist of fate or divine intervention, I have a child, I pray that he/she inherits musical talent that surpasses even my own, and an ear to hear, so that he or she can feel that sense of belonging that only comes from making music with others – losing your individual identity and the ego that always wants to be centre stage and just play and sing the part you are assigned. And THEN to hear the threads of harmony come together and to witness what THAT can do for and to an audience.
It is one of the greatest experiential and peace-fostering gifts any person can ever receive and I count myself blessed to have had that for a significant chunk of my formative years.