Saturday, May 01, 2010

TURNING POINTS

from our TALES FROM MOBILE MEL series

When The Moon Hits Your Eye... by Melanie Lutz

I had one of those moments when someone said something. Something simple, something powerful, something unexpected and I was changed. Forever.

This happened to me as many things do, in the quietest and most coincidental of ways. A chance meeting over a few meatballs under a sound track of Bobby Darren tunes at a particularly open moment. A burst of light during a dark music filled night at one of those round circular banquet tables at a charity event. The illumined moment came in the form of a Friend’s extraordinary Mother sitting down next to me. This artistic, beautiful woman who had spent her life promoting what she loved. This woman who at seventy plus years had devoted more than fifty of those to encouraging, developing and identifying young musical artists through a foundation supporting dreams and offering opportunity. As we munched on our meatballs and drank Chianti I heard her speak of her passion, I heard her speak of her joy at playing music as a young woman, how she recognized the need to nurture those individuals that required encouragement and financial assistance to pursue their own voices. I heard her truth, that the arts fuel the fabric of a society looking to connect, challenge and evolve. I listened to her, carrying forth a passion that had been born in her own youth, still feeding and driving everything that she did.

As I heard her life unfold. As I asked questions. As I felt the specialness and powerful impact of her simple idea, extraordinary effort and what it had meant to the worlds musical foundations, I was profoundly moved. Her Young Musician's Foundation alumni and spirit of excellence has permeated the worlds classical music stages for Fifty Five years.

As her story lead into the present moment her daughter joined us at the table. I looked at both women with new eyes as Mother and daughter's essences were revealed resonating new understanding and insight.

After a moment these two women, both dynamos, both living their lives in ways to help other people, told me a story. It was one of those stories that flood into memory and fall forth at the perfect moment to be shared to offer a lesson.

It would be hard to guess that my Friend, now happily married with two adorable kids cemented into a purposeful life filled with love and community, was at one time in a tortured, heartbreaking, confused and destructive relationship.

Ten years before, my Friend found herself on a path that wasn’t working. She was supporting an arrogant, self centered, generally obtuse and abusive boyfriend who cut in one of the many Los Angeles trendy salons. A hair artist, if you will. She found herself at odds with the feelings of loving this person and the conflict of how he treated her. Feeling trapped and powerless her Mother’s invitation to join her parents for a couple of weeks during a summer to be spent with a famous Italian director at his gorgeous villa was tempting. The one condition. She could not bring her on again off again hair artist boyfriend. Weighing the options of the French Riviera on a spectacular holiday with loved ones against her own twisted darkened confused hurtful existence with her hair artist partner. She made the obvious choice.

After a fabulous dinner filled with romance, intelligence, a richness of sharing and lyrical conversations my Friend and her Mother adjourned to the balconies overlooking the Mediterranean and enjoyed the last moments of a spectacular sunset.

In the breathlessness and awe of natures elegance it was agreed this was what life offered, simple, magical moments full and complete, filled with love and contentment. Moments that live and breath effortlessly given the right environment.

After a significant beat, not looking at her daughter, my friends Mom spoke into the endless horizon that stretched in front of them "if you continue to accept what your boyfriend is offering this is a view you will never find."

Upon returning to the States, my Friend broke off all contact with her self centered hair artist boyfriend and had new eyes open to find a life that could live in the brilliance of that magical sunset filled evening spent quietly with her Mom. It was a turning point, a turning point in how she chose to live her life.

As Mother and Daughter finished their story, the audience erupted into appreciative applause as the featured performer left the stage.

I joined in.

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