Apart from the fact that I was forced to begin the school day only moments after observing the scene of an immensely traumatic car accident, something else occurred which really put a perspective on life and its notorious span.
As some of you may know already, I am an avid oboe-player. The holidays during these times are always a time when musicians of all ages are called upon to use their abilities in the name of those less fortunate. My friend felt such a duty knighted upon herself, and I, attempting to perform at least one nice action during this frantic season, agreed to aid her. Playing oboe at a nursing home with two other musicians alongside. Sounds wonderful, yes?
Well, not exactly.
|Photo from http://www.tjjournal.com/2009/01/18/the-|
Nothing prepared me for what met my eyes-a plethora of sickly individuals whose only lifelines were the nurses talking to them in sweet, Child-like voices. With each step there was more sheltering exposed, more evidence that said place was simply, and painfully, a waiting room. The moans here and there, the IV fluid abundant as grass, the lolling heads hardly mobile in their wheelchairs....life came to this? You live, you influence, and this is what you become? A child again?
Last year, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald (yes, ladies and gents, the story whose movie adaptation included our oh-so-hunky friend, Brad Pitt) descended upon me in English class. How fascinating it was to read about the young taken care of by the old, and the older being taken by the younger. The circle is an essential aspect of the human experience, what with it being the most logical shape since it is truly an eternal cycle. We are born, we are petty in the eyes of those who run the world, we run the world, and we are petty once more-how many times have you dismissed the opinions of the elderly just because it came from an aged mind, a mind that couldn't possibly understand the conflicts of this twenty-first century?
The people at this nursing home, it was more than a case of being considered petty. They were actually children, and they weren't even given a chance to make opinions because it seemed like all problems of the outside world were taboo. Now, am I saying that this is a horrible phenomenon for some immensely unstable individuals? No. But am I saying there may be a better way to do this than the aforementioned system? Yes. And for once, I'm not going to try and devise one. When it was my turn to play, I found myself unable, screwing up note after note and throbbing uncontrollably with discomfort; by the end, I had to sing each tune because of my fingers' failure. The oppression was insurmountable.
This is not a call for protest
This is a call for action.
Would someone please take some?