"Our biggest regrets are not for the things we have done, but for the things we haven't done." - Chad Michael Murray
I almost didn't go. Mired in a funk fueled by disappointments, sad news, bad news and technological meltdowns, an up-to-my-armpits funk, all I really wanted to do was pull the covers over my head and feel sorry for myself.
I could hear the internal debate, see the words scrolling across the screen behind my eyes.
"You really should go to class."
"But I don't feel like it!"
"You know you enjoy this class."
"But, it's Otello. I don't need another downer!"
""You're whining, you hate whining."
"Give me a break!"
The debate continued, ad nauseum. I watched the clock ticking away. Then the question, seemingly out of the blue, "Won't you regret not going?" And my answer, "Well, maybe." I hate regrets more than I hate whining. So I picked myself up, dusted myself off, promised to sit apart from my classmates because I hadn't showered, and headed out.
When I arrived, late I confess, the auditorium was darkened, and the DVD was playing; Act I of Otello, Verdi's masterpiece, the grandest of all Italian grand opera, composed when Verdi was in his late 70's. This production - sweeping, dramatic staging; translated from Shakespeare to Italian, with American subtitles surprisingly poetic and touching. The conductor, a young Levine; the cast in their prime, glorious voices, substantial acting chops. Everything coming together in a sublime performance of sublime music. A once in a lifetime performance.
I left class that day in a much better frame of mind, awed by the marriage of skill and talent, technology and artistry. Inspired by the commitment of our instructor, and invigorated by the enthusiasm of my classmates.
Would I regret not having seen it? Obviously, I wouldn't know what I had missed had I not gone. But I did, and I would so regret having missed that experience.
Now, I wonder -
- How often do I let mood dictate my decisions?
- If good music lifts my spirits, why don't I listen to it more often?
- What else have I missed out on when I've taken the path of least resistance?
- How can I shorten the internal debate sooner the next time it occurs?
And I almost didn't go!