This evening, i stayed after work for a bit to go to a presentation of photography, 2-D and 3-D art and music presented by many of the students in school. I wandered through the rooms, looking at the composition, balance, shading, while listening to jazz and choral presentations. It was quite moving because it reminded me, above all, of my absolute lack of ability and distinction in the fields of the visual and auditory arts.
Thing is, I can't draw. When I make a circle, it looks like a square. And when I make a square, it definitely doesn't look like a square. My stick figures lack figure and my abstract works aren't even abstract. I dabbled in photography as a youngster and still take pictures but my artistic sense, well, never developed. And, yes, I play a bit of music here and there, but on a level that made our garage sue to have his name severed from my genre. I have no talent in these areas.
Then I look at the students, and even some relatives, all of whom can draw a person that looks like a (particular) person, take a picture that says more than the requisite 1000 words, or do something with music other than name the album and artist, plus two bits of trivia about it. I am constantly amazed -- where does talent lie? Can I see it? Can I touch it? Can I borrow a couple of tablespoons of it? I have one child who makes wallets, bags and other accouterments out of duct tape and a child who sings and dances. While I know how to use duct tape to close a box, and can shriek like no banshee's business, these talents do not come from me. So what do I have to offer?
Is there value in being able to write an essay quickly, or come up with a groan inducing pun? Is there any artistic value in being oppositional and defiant? Does everyone have a unique and special gift which allows him to contribute to society? Or maybe some of us just survive by being familiar enough with enough other areas that we can appear to be distinctive in many different fields when compared to people who know nothing, while we are, in truth, still woefully undistinguished. Maybe, to niche his none.