Ten days ago, a friend sent me a link to an online concert, featuring a bevy of undoubtedly melodic singers, wearing long black dresses and tuxedos. I remember thinking how kind of her … and then I gently placed the e-mail on the back burner of my life. “Maybe tomorrow.”
Several tomorrows came and went and once in a while I’d imagine a time slot when I could sit back and enjoy the music. But then that intention would fade away. Occasionally the concert would return to consciousness and I’d engage in a little self-talk:
Just sit down sometime, Bruce, and listen. You don’t exactly have a full social agenda, you know
I wonder what kinds of songs they sing. I bet I’ll like some and not others
C’mon, Bruce … get your rear in gear. It’s probably just an hour or so
A few more days, and then the unaccomplished would rear its head again. Then disappear once more.
And now this evening. I was lying on my bed in the dark, soaking in the quiet and watching the lights of highway traffic do their magic on my bedroom wall. My smile was interrupted by a jolt of words:
I don’t want to!
I don’t want to listen to the concert
Thoughts of being a bad person followed, along with disappointing my fellow woman. Of refusing a gift. Of being shallow, callous and just not nice. And then, like magic, those thoughts floated away. It’s no big deal. I simply don’t want to listen to a concert. I want to put my energies elsewhere.
I e-mailed my friend to tell the truth. It would have been braver to phone her but it was okay not to be brave. With tenderness and truthfulness, I sent my message off into the night. The smile returned, knowing that other experiences will beckon.