Last night I had an adventure all by myself — I attended a performance of the Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra. This was the first symphonic performance I’ve ever been to, and I have to admit that I wavered a bit on attending. While I like performances like opera and ballet (the more accessible ones, anyway; I’m more of a Rossini fan than a Wagner one), I always thought going to see a performance of just music would be… well, boring. Music, after all, is all around us; we can listen to virtually anything we want, virtually whenever we want. Wouldn’t just listening to music get tedious? Should I take a book?
Stacked against that were two things: my decision early on this year to try some new things, and the fact that lately I’ve been listening to music differently. I think this has to do with learning the viola, and I’m not really sure how to characterize the change except that I feel more involved in the music, especially classical music.
So last night I abandoned Dave and the children and took the plunge. And I have to say: it was awesome. My worries were groundless; I was entirely engaged in watching the performers and the conductor, and in really listening to the music, something I do all too rarely as it sits in the background of my life. There were moments when I felt an actual thrill of excitement go through me, the way I’d read about in novels. I was not once tempted to take out my book.
And now it has me all fired up. This morning I’ve been browsing through their other performances for the season and contemplating sneaking out for an extra viola practice.