I watched Meryl win her Oscar and found myself wondering about the uneven, unjust distribution of talent in this world.
My acting career ended when I was totally unable to erase a giddy smile from my face as I entered the stage. Sister Mary Alice could not understand that I was merely suffering from stage fright, which caused the strange, nervous smiling reflex to remain permanently fixed. After at least ten tries, she was desperately afraid our sixth grade lenten play would not go on. In spite of the fact that everyone mysteriously thought I actually resembled the character I played, Sister Mary Alice replaced me. The new girl looked nothing like Judas Iscariot, but she was able to pull off the betrayer's role without showing her teeth.
I wound up playing the indistinguishable role of a member of the angry crowd. I yelled "Crucify him!" My only line was drowned out by all the rest of the angry crowd actors, who said the same thing.
I've never acted again, and I'm sure the Academy thanks me and so should you.
The question of why Meryl Streep has so much talent and I have been left with a void in that department will remain unanswered. Life is just not fair.
But what about those who in spite of their lack of natural artistic endowments still pursue a loved art? They act, dance, play an instrument or perform some other dubious talent without regard to their level of achievement or perfection.
I love these people. They do what they do, just for fun because they love it. I imagine they waste no time comparing themselves to others or measuring how much success (in finances or in fame) they accomplish. They just do what brings them joy and in so doing they actually bring much joy to the rest of us.
I'm glad there's no award for the "less than amateur" category. These folks get their rewards just by obeying their inner calling regardless of how others value it.
Though there's a tiny part of me that wishes I were like Meryl, the larger part wishes I were more like the people who transform what they enjoy into their own everlasting Oscar.
A Local Fair
This guy did a lot more than
just hoola hoop with the tire. He performed little miracles with it and mesmerized the crowd.
Terry has danced at almost every local fair and festival for many, many years.
At this one, she announced it was her birthday. She is 72.
"Peace, love and unity, in the community."
Karuna prays this prior to all his performances. He insists that all the drummers play in coordination to complement the others, not to overshadow them.
Karuna has no formal employment. He has raised his family by teaching and performing his drumming and occasionally selling some health products. He is one of the happiest people I know.