The Imperfect House
When my sister-in-law Margaret, an excellent ‘cellist, asked if I would host a house concert during her July visit, my immediate response was “Sure, that sounds like fun!” Then, as I sat in the living room sipping coffee and petting the cat, I began seeing my house through the eyes of a chamber music patron. The plant that the cat peed in would have to be nursed to health somewhere else, for sure. And the other plants in the room: would I have time to dust them? And my mother’s Steinway baby grand piano could use some polishing up. The huge picture window opens to a magnificent view of the mountains…and has not been washed for years. Hoping for a good hard rain, I turned my attention to the garden. The early July fireworks of pinks, purples, and bright orange were now spent, nodding at me with dull shriveled blossoms on dried stems. Lots of dead-heading to do. And weeding. I generally tell my friends to cross their eyes so they won’t notice all the weeds, but I could hardly expect that of strangers.
Shabby. The place looks shabby. And the concert is in two days.
Chances are it will look just like this on Sunday afternoon, since I don’t plan to scramble around making the place more presentable. And the only person who will notice the shabbiness is me. And I won’t even notice it after there are a lot of people here enjoying a great concert, admiring our view, and telling me how much they love the chevre cheese I made fresh just for them.
Perspective. Getting perspective means letting go of what you think other people might think. Chances are, they are not nearly so conscious of how you keep your house as you are, and chances are it isn’t what your house looks like that will determine whether or not they like you.
[Note: There are still seats available for the concert, featuring piano and 'cello selections by Mendelssohn and Grieg. More info at http://www.amicimusic.org/up-coming-shows.html.]