Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fears are Tangible

Here we are, the white-haired bunch, spending an August afternoon parked in our easy chairs, sun hats and comfortable clothes, snacks, extra covering in case the wind picks up, ready to listen to young people entertain us with their beautiful sounds.

Old people love young people.

Time stops for us when we see a fourteen/sixteen year old collecting his wits and budding skills to produce a sound in a public setting. This audience is all smiles; with not a bit of malice or criticism toward them. Why, some are reminiscing about their own experience standing in front of an audience of strangers playing together in a band for the first time. The body language is mostly the same, stiff, hesitant, swaggering or downright trembling with fear. I'm guessing the young man on the cell phone while his colleague is making announcements is the least fearful of this audience.

We have learned to recognize most of our fears in our recurring dreams, in the underlined and repeated conversations with each other, in the packages of supplies we stock up just in case.

Guessing the fear in the faces of these young people is easy enough. At their age, I recall few clear paths out of fear, except to listen to adults and practice. Obedience and shame worked wonders at keeping fear at bay.