- “When is the best time to do things?”
- “Who is the most important one?”
- “What is the right thing to do?”
These three questions posed by Leo Tolstoy in a short story published in 1885 — more than a century later adapted into a marvelous children’s book “The Three Questions” by Jon J. Muth — guided me yesterday to a fascinating gift. In case you wonder what the answers to the three questions are, here you go:
Remember then that there is only one important time, and that time is now. The most important one is always the one you are with. And the most important thing is to do good for the one who is standing at your side. For these, my dear boy, are the answer to what is most important in the world.
And here is how this all happened… Yesterday afternoon I saw a message on Facebook by a certain rocket scientist and audio magician friend who needed a ride for herself and her husband to the airport. Since I knew I was going to telecommute today and had the flexibility of time, I offered to help and have Kelly and Caeli stay at my apartment before their voyage. I had observed with fascination this remarkable couple whose wedding was certainly the most unique I had ever witnessed.
Kelly, whose Tiny Planet Studio inspired my Musical Prayer Station, had never been at my place before but Caeli, together with New Creation and TaliaSafa, was the first to perform at it, some 16 months ago.
An adventure ensued, starting with a trip to Goddard Space Flight Center to drop the Red Fire Track — with its precious grand piano cargo — off. On our way back through DC, we talked about music, dream jobs, playing with audio toys, the uncertainty of life, living in an oval house, and the guts to be different. I got asked a question if I am a musician, and as always I said, “No, but I am a singer”, explaining that I could never consider myself a musician since I’d never had a formal musical education. Later,at home, we sat around the dinner table to share prayers (somehow both Kelly and Caeli picked prayers I had never actually heard!) and I sang a prayer song to wish them safe travels. Kelly complimented me on my singing saying that she had never actually heard my voice before — I answered jokingly that I had been talking the whole evening. But Caeli nailed it down, saying directly: “Mitko, you ARE a musician; stop retelling a false story…”
So, I guess it is time to admit, or rather make a statement: I am a musician!
As I was rushing through traffic this morning to make it on time at the airport for their flight to London, I was reflecting with gratitude on the gift of encouragement these friends gave me: the gift of honoring who I am without a false pretense! Thanks, Kelly and Caeli, and Bon Voyage!
The creative adult is the child who has survived.
— Ursula K. Le Guin