Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mastering Proficiency, a Little Bit

There is not enough time to do everything I wish I could be doing. There is not enough time for me to master everything I wish that I could master. Or one thing mastered, for that matter.

I often feel plagued by the Almost-Proficient Syndrome. You know, where one can do lots of things with reasonable proficiency, but nothing with stellar mastery. And if I had to pick the one thing to master, what would it be? To choose? I couldn't, I don't think. My list of wish-I-coulds is suffering from ADD. It's changing channels with rapid-fire progression. There is so much to learn, so much to do! I just want to keep learning and doing, but I can't stay focused long enough for mastery. It's always on to the next thing.

I am a child in a family of impressive talent. The writers, the poets, the artists galore, the bakers, the chefs, the gardeners. I can approach each of those subjects with only a modicum of talent (well, except for art, because somehow only the boys in the family stole off with those riches!), but I don't feel exceptional in any of them. Maybe I'm still looking for my niche. Maybe?

Lately, to break the mental overload that is organic chemistry, I've been soothing myself with piano music. The "in" thing to do right now is to play Yiruma's River Flows in You, from Twilight. It is stunningly beautiful to me. The first time I heard someone playing it, it stopped me dead in my tracks, and I had to know where I could get the music. It's not like I have so much extra time to learn music these days, but this song, the beauty of it, it's like truth to my soul, and I've needed it. Have you heard it?

I looked it up on YouTube and listened to a couple of kids play it as they videotaped themselves, self-consciously trying not to look into the camera. (Hollywood Rule #1) But then, I found the video of Yiruma himself playing it, and that, my friend, is a whole new experience. This song came out of him. He birthed this beauty, and I am in awe as I listen to him play his own creation. It has to be divine, like it existed in heaven and God chose to channel it through to this inspired man. It just touches me so deeply. I admit that I am a wee bit envious of that kind of creation.



Once I admitted that fact out loud and the wise woman I was with replied, well, someone has to have the talent to create it, but someone else must have the gift to appreciate it. That actually made me feel better. I might be gifted after all, because though I cannot dance, or play masterfully, or sing beautifully, or compose AT ALL, I am able to testify of the truth of beauty in all its musical forms, and feel sweeping emotion move me to tears. I suppose somebody's got to be in the audience weeping, right?

I can do a little here and a little there, and I am admittedly blessed with the desire to do more, learn more, be more. So, I'm at least proficient, even masterful, in the yearning. And in the rest? Well, dabbling is more than nothing. And there's a lot still yet to be written.

9 comments:

Heidi Ashworth said...

Appreciating art is a wonderful thing, and this piece was truly beautiful--thanks for sharing! I have often felt like you, that I have a talent for any number of things but am not talented enough. When you are an art lover, not being able to express yourself and create art for the masses to appreciate is tough! I am willing to bet you'll find that medium that you can truly excel at. Meanwhile, I imagine the people around you see you as super talented and wish they could be more like you!

Erin said...

That is a beautiful piece of music. I feel just like you - I am proficient at piano playing (and, as an extension, I feel the same way about all of my talents), but that's all. Thanks for writing the things I feel inside!

Rachel said...

I feel so much like you do. I am not a master of anything-including myself! I am, however, lucky enough to share your talent of appreciation. Of music, but mostly of dance. I danced for years and now when I watch a truly stunning piece it brings me to tears and my husband thinks I'm crazy. So, I agree. Appreciating is a very important part of the creation!

Luisa Perkins said...

I am the poster child of Almost Proficient. I am a very talented yearner.

I want to hear you play that piece!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Hi Jenna! I've been here to visit your blog, too! Very good question about the veganism. Ironically, I became a vegan AFTER we bought the cow! Not sure what to do with her now, but since the kids are still drinking cow's milk, I guess we'll keep her around for a while. Thank you so much for your sweet comment and I hope to see you around more often!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

It's me again. That piece by Yiruma was so lovely. I just downloaded it for my daughter and I to learn. She is going to love this. He plays with such intense emotion. It was awesome listening to him. Thank you!

wonder woman said...

I know you don't think you're proficient, but I just have to tell you that every post I read of yours makes me feel like I've just read my favorite story from the Ensign. I love the way you write, and your subject matter.

This is a beautiful song. I can't help but close my eyes and sway and smile when I hear it.

Sarah said...

Heidi Ashworth said...

"Meanwhile, I imagine the people around you see you as super talented and wish they could be more like you!"

Amen! I am one of those "people" she's referring to.

also...

wonder woman said...

"I know you don't think you're proficient, but I just have to tell you that every post I read of yours makes me feel like I've just read my favorite story from the Ensign. I love the way you write, and your subject matter."

I completely agree!

Jenna dear, you clearly do not give yourself the proper amount of credit! You are my hero!

Terresa said...

I'm a big time dabbler. Some day when I'm brave enough I'll post all of my unfinished projects and attempts at mastery. Until then, I'll just dabble a little more here and there...