Today while perusing Facebook, I responded to someone who had made this post:
"No matter what you believe or who you believe in, it is my
opinion that we will all be judged on how we treat others and what
you've done to help someone else."
The words that sprung into my head from years ago were:
"....... What remains is the blessed flower of good deeds.....", which was translated from the Latin text of the baritone part of Symphonic Requiem, which our High School Concert Band had played back in 1968, directed by the composer, Vaclav Nelhybel.
This memory, which sprung back to me after all of these years, was probably the best episode I had in High School.
I can still see this man in front of the band, yelling at the kettle drummer, "Don't caress the drum, HIT IT!!!". I can remember the tears in his eyes as the winds and sax sections rode the waves of the second movement. I saw the love, passion, anger and joy he felt in creation.
The memory of him telling us that he had never heard his composition played more musically,.. but mostly the memory of the music brings tears to me still.
So why am I telling this to you all?
It is this. People affect you, and you affect people. Most of us are not aware of what our words and actions will mean to others. We just go through our lives, trying to cope with our own personal battles. But every now and then, let's sit back and wonder if we were the best we could be.
Vaclav Nelhybel didn't know me. I don't know if he ever laid eyes on me or took any notice, but the man profoundly affected me by being the best, most passionate artist he could be.
He took such joy in creating his music - it was infectious. We didn't play the music, we experienced and created and felt it all at once.
So now I'm a photographer, doing my best to pour all of my passion, joy, sadness, anger and love through the hole in the box, which is my camera. And I remember this man Vaclav Nelhybel, who 42 years ago affected me to my very core.
The only recording of Symphonic Requiem I had was an old reel-to-reel tape, so I googled his name, and came up with an email address. Just moments after I sent the email, I got a note back from his wife.
I'll not bore you with the details, but suffice it to say,
"Life is short, but that's no excuse.. to not say "Thank You".