*The Pointless Writer*
has a life you're completely uninterested in. But it's okay because I can write. No abbreviations. No shoddy grammar (though I'm not immune to mistakes). Just quality writing on sometimes completely pointless topics.
UnPoints of Note
1. I write when fancy takes. Sometimes, fancy takes many months of leave.
Part of the Common Crowd
All of us yearn in some way for normality. However extraordinary we wish to be, we desire to be common kind of extraordinary: skilled, wealthy, having many friends. Our innate desire to be common is a by-product of our instinctive longing to ‘fit in’; and as long as we fit in somewhere, we are common in that context, even if not outside of it. For instance, a group of rebels priding themselves on fighting commonality have in fact established for themselves a separate order of it: attempts to fight what is perceived as ‘normal’ become the normal in this context.
At this stage in life, as a student, small talk primarily revolves around school and desired career. When I reply “Music” to the socially constructed question “What are you studying now?” I invariably get surprised expressions embellished by interest. The logical follow-up question “What instrument do you play?” is awkward because nobody says “I play my voice.” Oftentimes, human presumptuousness results in the comment “You must play the piano very well then” in place of this question. Additional surprise results once my instrument is revealed. “Oh! You sing?” then comes out as brains scramble to come up with a response now that there is no automated reply designed by societal norms.
I enjoyed this the first few times. Similar to yet conflicting with our desire for commonality is our desire for extraordinariness, our want to be special. I enjoyed being special. But the novelty wore off after a while. I gave an awkward, polite smile as they said “that’s very unique” and, when they queried why, gave the only possible answer: “I love it.” They would “ohh” in a way that betrayed lack of understanding and I would shift the topic to them instead.
Entering the Conservatory is a breath of fresh air. Music is normal. Music is common. There are no fewer singers than violinists and pianists. This year’s intake includes 5 singers and 2 trumpeters. Singers are no longer the minority. People don’t ask “what do you play?” I no longer have to contend with the syntactically incorrect “I play voice” or statement “I sing”, which technically doesn’t answer the question. Instead, the conversation starter is “what’s your major?” My answer “voice” is then deliciously grammatically correct.
It’s almost beautiful that I can now rave about what is generically termed “classical music” with people who rave about it too. That I have a friend who too is bowled over by the grandeur of group music-making: me as a chorister, her as a violinist, thinking “this is something larger than me” when the sound of a dozen musicians fills the concert hall in a heart-throbbing way that one voice (whether human or instrumental) never can. That there is peer pressure to practise the art I love daily. That I fit in, and am part of the common crowd.