And here’s my list.
PIANIST. I want to be one of the best in the world. I want to play with the best orchestras. I want to play in hallowed concert halls around the globe. On a Steinway if possible.
As I’m writing this I visualize the orchestra. Everyone in black in white. That moment of total silence as the maestro lifts the baton. Right before the soaring notes of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto #2. Or Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto #1. Or, please, please, please, Liszt’s Piano Concerto #1.
I forgot. My hands will be big enough to span 14 notes with ease. Playing Liszt or Rachmaninoff will be like playing Three Blind Mice.
OPERA. I want to be a sought after soprano. I want to sing with the best companies. In the biggest opera houses. I want to be Violetta in La Traviata. I want to be Mimi in La Boheme. I want to be Ciocio-san in Madame Butterfly. On the lighter side I want to be Christine in Phantom of the Opera. I want to be Grizabella in Cats. I want to dress up and be part of the glorious spectacle that is opera and musical theatre.
DANCE. I want to have the right build and start training at age three or so. I want to practice and practice and practice till my feet bleed and I cry from exhaustion.
I want to dance Odette/Odile in Swan Lake. I want to dance Giselle. I want to dance Aurora in The Sleeping beauty. I want to experience that seemingly (hah!) weightless perfection and yet never be satisfied with my performance. But I want to try.
Now in all the above reincarnations, I’m not looking for fame or fortune.
I’m looking for the pure joy of being good enough to work with the best of the best.
But there is more to come.
TEACHER. I want to teach a foreign language (preferably French so let’s assume I was born French) at university level. Thus, the students facing me want to be there. Have chosen to delve further into the beauty of a Romanesque language.
CHURCH MUSIC. I want to concentrate my studies on Medieval Music. Not so much the early stuff but that written just before the Renaissance.
We merely brushed over this period when I studied music. Although we did sing Gregorian chant. A little too much…..
I thought five more lifetimes would take care of my dreams but don’t you know but a sixth joined the list.
And Oswald Chambers is to blame. The man makes me think until my head hurts. Thus –
I WANT A LIFETIME TO STUDY SCRIPTURE.
I want to delve into the writings of the dudes that started the Reformation. Martin Luther, John Calvin and more. And some time later John Wesley and the start of Methodism.
I want to spend time with the Catholic Saints of yesteryear. St. Augustine; St. Ignatius of Loyola; St. Anthony of Padua; St. Francis of Assisi; St. Cecilia (music!); St. Frances de Sales (writing!) and so many more.
I want to immerse myself in the writings of the present day Christian Mystics and Spiritual Writers. Fr. Richard Rohr, Thomas Merton, Fr. James Martin.
Incidentally, I repeat an excerpt from a prayer by Thomas Merton to myself every day. The full
prayer is below for those interested.
“The fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.”
I want to learn. I want to understand. I want to find people with whom I can discuss these things without starting a religious war.
I don’t want much, do I?
Cyber hugs and Blessings all.
Thomas Merton Prayer
MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
Through the Year With Thomas Merton