Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Serendipity: when the universe affirms you

Sometimes events happen in life that are like signposts from the universe, making the way clearer, and giving you a portentious feeling that things are starting to come together. A recent example in my own life was being invited to perform solos in the last couple of choir concerts that we did. It came completely out of the blue, and was my first chance to do so in the seven years I've been performing with that ensemble. I was especially pleased and surprised to have this opportunity because 1) for the past couple of seasons, the conductor has been assigning solos rather than having open auditions, and 2) I wouldn't consider myself one of the "teacher's pets" in that group (and I don't mean that pejoratively, I just mean the A-list singers in our ensemble). I was particularly grateful to be invited back for a second time this season, since it must mean that I didn't completely botch the first time! The whole experience felt like the universe was giving me another nudge to go and take voice lessons, something I did briefly in college and have wanted to do again for many years since then.

And yet another nudge: last night we rehearsed "Frostiana", Randall Thompson's choral setting of poems by Robert Frost, including "The Road Not Taken":

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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