This morning I was listening to an audio book ‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama.
Not only is the book absorbing, but her narration is spell- binding too.
In one of her anecdotal episodes, she recounts how she learnt to play the piano from her Aunt. She tells us a little something about pianos. On her very first day, her no- nonsense aunt asked her to put her thumb on Middle C. Now, she was just about six years old then and had no idea what a Middle C was. The piano for her was a wide array of black and white keys which her six year old hands could not reach.
But eventually she found out that Middle C is the anchoring point. It is the point where treble and bass stand divided. She says that if one could manage to put her thumb firmly on the Middle C then everything else falls automatically in place. The right hand knows which keys to press and so does the left.
This got me thinking.. As in music, so it is in life. We just have to find our Middle C for things to fall into place. She had an advantage at her aunt’s place. The Middle C key on her aunt’s piano was disfigured hence it was easy to place. She practiced and learnt how to play beautifully.
On her first ever recital for the public she came on the stage to find a flawless piano and was in a turmoil because she wasn’t used to ‘flawless’
Her aunt understood her quandary and pointed out the Middle C, after which she played without a hitch.
It so often happens with us too. We do have elders and more experienced people around us to constantly point out the Middle C in our lives- the point which separates right from wrong, moral from immoral & virtue from vice. But unlike a piano, where the key we are talking about is constant, life does not roll like that.
What may be right for one, might be all wrong for someone else. The morality and virtue we talk about is subjective. What works for one may not work for the other. It isn’t fair or even realistic to make rules & societal norms, and expect everyone to adhere to them whether or not they feel okay with them.
Our society has a yardstick to measure or judge people. And it is unfortunate that anyone venturing out of those boundaries is considered wayward or obstinate or even a rebel. Be it love, human relationships, work, ambitions, lifestyle – everything has to be within those standards to be accepted by the society.
God hadn’t made us like that. We made society to keep us company not to keep us aloof.
I feel, every thinking – person, who has some kind of experience in life or even if they don’t, has the right to choose the way they live and love.
All we have to do is find our own Middle C’s and carry on with the symphony that this life should be. We should be able to follow our own tunes if they make sense to us. Even if the notes are discordant at first they would fall into harmony, which suits us, soon enough or they would give us an experience that would be hard to forget.
Just a thought!