On Sunny Lane - Talents


Several decades ago, I attended Sunday liturgy at the motherhouse of the Mercyhurst sisters in Erie with a religious ed group from our church.

We were all joining in the singing and responses as the service continued. Then, it was time for the Sanctus.

Three little old nuns, with wisps of white hair escaping around the edges of their wimples, toddled up to the microphone to lead us. They looked very fragile and a bit naive. Then they began to sing. I have never heard angels sing, but that’s how I imagine they would sound. I wanted to hear them sing all day. I wanted to take them home to sing at my church.

Sweetheart and I have gone to a concert from time to time, where people can join the band in singing their favorite songs. Some of those people can really sing. However, we all await the man who rounds out the program with his piano rendition.  He shuffles his way from his seat to the stage, with a slight stoop of the shoulders. A jovial fellow, he appears to be very mild-mannered. Then he sits down. He doesn’t just tickle the ivories, he launches an all-out assault on the keys.

As I watch and listen, I am reminded of cartoons I have seen, in which someone is playing the piano so vigorously that the keyboard becomes undone and floats through the air, undulating like an inchworm as it goes. If that ever happens at the concert, I want to be there when it does.

There is a drummer who performed at some of the dances where Sweetheart and I used to go. Part of the fingers are missing from one of his hands. He, too, is a senior citizen. You should see him twirl those drumsticks in his hands and put his whole body into his work. Who would have thought it!

Twice a year I get a packet of greeting cards in the mail from an organization that supports artists who paint with their mouth or feet. The cards are beautiful! I can only imagine how much time, patience—and skill—goes into each work of art.

When Sweetheart and I go to a dance, there are mostly senior citizens there. I seldom see anyone under the age of 60.  What I do see is a crowded dance floor—and very few wall flowers. Whether it’s a slow dance, a waltz, a polka, a cha cha or a jitterbug, there is always someone on the floor. There are even a few line dancers. And, if certain songs come on, half of the crowd does the Electric Slide. They can really kick up their heels.

The point is, you never forget how to ride a bicycle—or play the piano or drums, or sing, or dance, or paint. However, you need to learn how to do it in the first place.  It takes interest, talent, passion, dedication and hard work. Even though it’s what you like to do, and you get satisfaction from doing it, other people get joy from being part of your talent.

I’m glad people want to use their time and talents. I’m glad there’s enough to go around and there’s still room for more.


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