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Through a Window

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You stand at a window, hands and nose pressed against the glass. Though it’s cold outside, you don’t feel it; the heat inside is heavy and tangible, seeping through the walls and warming you from head to toe. Inside it is brightly lit and full of activity: in the black chairs that cover the floor sit nearly 200 high-school students, chatting to each other and unpacking thick black instrument cases.

The place: San Diego Youth Symphony’s rehearsal room.
You’ve been coming here for rehearsal every Saturday for the past four years. You have memorized every smudge on the ceiling and crack in the tile, and you know which of the fluorescent lights are most likely to flicker out at any given time. You have learned, finally, where to put each chair when you arrive early and have to help set up. You can point out every place where you once found an abandoned romance novel or a stack of sheet music. You’ve planned out the quickest route from your seat to the water table, and you know the schedule for the various societies that showcase their prize plants in the room downstairs.

Here, you have a place: everyone is important, even those who sit in the backs of their sections. You have friends here, friends who are smart and talented and just as passionate about music as you are. Each rehearsal is a struggle, certainly, but you struggle through together, and the result is magnificent. You’re part of a team, but not a competitive one; you share each other’s pains when practicing and together you soar when you strike your final chord and the audience jumps to its feet.

You love the music and the people and the whirlwind rehearsals, and to you, this is home.





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storyteller said...
Nov. 15, 2011 at 12:18 am
Wonderful essay! Feels like I am there!
 
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