The Show Must Go On
Smile for a Saturday
We all have moments of setback and disappointment, times when our hopes falter in the face of reality and hurdles emerge due to circumstances beyond our control. This is part of the journey throughout life. Tests come in many forms.
One of the unfairnesses of the human experience is that struggle and sadness are distributed unevenly among people. And yet there always seems to be more than enough of it to go around. That feels particularly true at this moment. Few could have predicted the disruptions of a global pandemic, or before that, the stress test that destructive forces are exerting on our democracy. These challenges continue, and they are joined by many others.
But it is often in times like these, when our mettle is tested, that we can inspire others by rising to the necessities of the occasion. In our trials we can forge hope.
In searching for our Smile for a Saturday features, we try to find examples of the beauty, grace, empathy, and determination of the human spirit. And today we found a heartwarming example of one person transforming what could have been a reason to give up into a moment that filled hearts with joy.
There are many attributes of live performances that are appealing — enjoying art in the company of others, the thrill of entering a new space and leaving the rest of your world behind for at least a moment, experiencing directly the craft of the artist, just to name a few. But another truth is that in a live show, almost anything can happen. There is no expectation of perfection, and isn’t that what being human is all about? The show must go on.
A few years back, the Brazilian pianist Eliane Rodrigues was set to play a concert in the Dutch city of Rotterdam. The beginning of the video is likely something you’ve seen before: A grand piano sits alone on a stage. A pianist, in an elegant gown, walks on to perform. She sits down, and the crowd is quiet with anticipation. But here, something goes wrong. One of the piano’s pedals is malfunctioning. You can see the realization dawn on her face. How Rodrigues responds in that moment is something worth watching. We found it not only made us smile but also reminded us of what can be derived from adversity.
And for those who might want an uninterrupted piece by Ms. Rodrigues, we share this version of Chopin’s Nocturne in E Flat Major.