Goosebumps. I have goosebumps because of magic. What kind of magic, you ask? Well I’ll tell you.
I know. It surprised me too.
Recently a student asked to take me to a classical concert as a sort goodbye! You are awesome! I’m so sad you’re leaving! gift.
RELATED: This student had actually only ever had me as her teacher twice in the entire time I’ve been at this job. When she had a mid-course appraisal with my boss to talk about the ongoing successes and problems, if any, with her course, she said to my boss LAURA. I WANT HER AS A TEACHER AGAIN. When my boss asked why she basically said BECAUSE SHE’S BALLIN’. THAT’S WHY.
DISCLAIMER: Except Luisa is actually Italian and in her 50’s, so in reality as opposed to in my imagination, she probably said an approximation thereof. But still. The sentiment is the same.
Anyway, when somebody asks you to the oldest orchestra in Rome, YOU SAY YES. So off I went in my checked shirt and bow-tied scarf and boots and lipstick, to Parco Della Musica, and woah. I wasn’t expecting what went down.
MAGIC. Absolute… magic.
It was a feeling I was totally unprepared for. As the violinist played, each movement of her bow drew me into a story she was trying to communicate with me. But to begin with I was reticent and unsure; I didn’t understand what she was trying to tell me. It was like we were communicating underwater, and the signs were there but they were blurred and unclear. I knew I was supposed to react in a particular way- possibly looking wistful and pensive whilst nodding my head just slightly. That’s how people in the movies do it, right?
It took me a while to relax.
Eventually, I let myself sink into her melody. I thought All The Things and nothing at all; love and life and Rome and things I didn’t realize I knew. All at the same time. It was like a sort of meditation, a reflection. I bathed in the notes she gave me. I was without body and soul but more alive than I had felt in a long time. I was there in the room but my senses were everywhere else. I was peaceful.
It was beautiful. And despite this weekend my friend Anna declaring to me, ‘You say everything changes your life, don’t you?’ to which I replied, ‘Hyperbolic rhetoric should be my middle name,’ INTERNET. This experience changed my life.
And as the violinist stopped playing, and the final peal rang out across the concert hall, I took a moment to be all in one place again, to pull myself together and be what I am used to always being- whatever that is.
But. As I did this, as I suddenly came up from out of the water to gasp for a breath of something more familiar, I realized- slowly- that everybody around me was doing the exact same thing. We were all on our feet and sharing the exact same feeling of FEELINGS WITHOUT WORDS OHMYGOD HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE I THINK I LOVE YOU ALL AND HOW IS THIS STRENGTH OF EMOTION EVEN POSSIBLE WITHOUT PENETRATION?
I looked around the hall and saw tears in eyes and smiles on faces and realized that there were tears in MY eyes and a smile on MY face.
And then I thought about football matches and the way all of those fans feel- what happens on the pitch affects them so strongly and fervently that they would fight for the team they believe in until death (or arrest, whatever comes first) and Internet? I was part of something then. I was part of something bigger than me, with a room of a thousand strangers who felt the same things as I in that moment, and I knew those seconds could never be replicated in that exact way again.
And so I let a tear fall, because that is magic. Something unique and special and particular, a sort of glimpse of God or Buddha or Lady Gaga.
Last week a friend got last-minute tickets to the same symphony and buggar me with a banana in a hat if I didn’t do goosebumpy-magic again. And no, it wasn’t in the same way. I was relaxed form the off, and more familiar with the piece, and I’d just eaten rice balls so I was totes in my happy place.
But as the last note sounded this time, and the audience broke that fourth wall to applaud, I knew something important.
I knew I had a new hobby.
A very expensive new hobby.
And so, in conclusion, then, I suppose what I am trying to say in an overly verbose but typically LJW way is that I really hope my Christian Grey likes a good symphony. Because he is going to have to pay. It ain’t cheap.