Thursday, July 03, 2003

life of buddy don, chaptur 8:
a man that desurvs his own chaptur


thays a man that desurvs his own chaptur n thats the die-recktor of the orkester, mr iml, on accounta sumthin he tole us all that kindly made me wonta change how i wuz a doin.


ye kin magine the truble twuz to git us all to play our instrumints in tune n on the beat n all, n one day, when seemt lack cudnt nobidy do right, he stoppt everthang n said, 'OK. Pack em up!' n everbidy new he wuz mad. orkester period wudnt half over n we wuz a'puttin our instrumints away. that mint he wuz a gone leckcher us.


n whut he sed that day wuz short n lack mos grate truths twuz sumthin obveeus oncet yed dun herd it oncet n jes as easy to fergit. sed mr iml, 'Life is a battle between competition and cooperation. Each of you can play, some very well. But if we had you all out on the quad, each trying to play the loudest and the best, each trying to prove his talent to be best, what we'd have is cacaphony. And no one would be considered good at all.'


he lacked to use big wurds lack quad, witch that wuz the yard in the center of the skool, n cuhcaffunny, witch that wuz the kinda noiz thats opposit of musik. 


'An orchestra depends on the cooperation of individuals. To make music together, we have to blend, to fuse our talents and become as one, all bent on serving a single musical piece. If even one person is out of tune, the entire orchestra suffers. If even one person is off the beat, everyone sounds off the beat.'


to grasp the portants of whut he sed nex ye need to no that mr iml wuz jes as much a publican as my daddy n voted fer goldwater n hated lbj n the grate socidey. i wuz more or less a publican in them daze my own self on accounta becawz my daddy wuz one. i inherted the malady n i held on toot till i larnt to thank criticull bout thangs n understand thangs better. n nixon helpt whenever he showd his tru colors. n whenever them publicans begun attackin our own gummint with ronald raygun. n whenever thay wus a'chasin presdint clintun by clamin hed dun thangs he hadnt dun n all. but ill wax that philosofical stuff by and by. meenwhile, member that mr iml wuz a publican only one with ackshul wisdom, witch thats rare in inny case in inny party.


'I know it seems to be a contradiction, but there are moments when playing your best requires removing your ego and playing together. The best thing you can do as a member of this orchestra is to play in tune, on the beat, as well as you can, and yet to let your individual contribution be fused anonymously into the whole. To gain fame for your orchestra, you have to be willing to give up your individual fame and become a piece of something larger, the orchestra that serves the music of the ages.'


then he sed sumthin that gut me a'thankin.


'The point is, if you do what is truly best for you, then you do what is truly best for your group. Not only in this room as a member of this orchestra, but in all parts of life. If you look deep into your heart and soul and honestly assess what is in your own selfish interests, if you pursue your own personal excellence to the limit of your powers, you will also be serving what is best for the teams you play on or the bands you play in or the military units you belong to or the companies that employ you or this great country of ours.'


twuz so quite ye cudda herd a squirrel cough.


'The difficulty is in being honest with yourself, in truly examining what is best. As Socrates said, "The unexamined life is not worth living." If you examine the noise your were just making, not a single one of you would say it was the best you could do. It certainly was not the best you should do. It was a betrayal, of the orchestra of course, but more importantly, a betrayal of yourself. When you do not do your best, you betray yourself and everyone who depends on you.'


his wurds burnt my ears n made my stomach twitch. i almos wisht i'd dun tride harder to figger out that site reedin n muiskl notayshun stuff. i new i needed to egzamin my own life n git a holt of whut i wuz a doin. i new that practicin kissin werent a gittin me nowhar but in truble sure nuff. n twernt good fer nun of the three of us, meenin virgil n darlene n me. fack wuz, i shudda been wurkin n not playin, not even in orkester.


mr iml then ast us to git out the instermints agin n tune em up n this time whenever we begun a playin, twuz a magikal thang, sweet musik that'd make yer hart ake.


twuz the last time i playd in a orkester. whenever we gut out, i went to the administrayshun n ast cud i get that gummint class at nite n take that civicks test n still git my hi skool diploma, n when thay sed thar wuz a class n i cud git into it, i tole em thats jes whut id do.


twuz mr iml i had to thank fer a'wakin me up.

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