Last night Meira and I attended a concert given by The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama’s Symphony Orchestra at St David’s Hall in Cardiff. Our main reason for attending was to listen to Siwan Rhys from the village of Creigiau near Cardiff, the talented daughter of two dear friends of ours, who was performing the Piano Concerto No 1 by Bartók.
Our main claim to fame is that Siwan first played the piano as a little girl in our house. Since then, we’ve watched her blossom into a consummate concert pianist and a wonderful human being. A few weeks ago she accompanied me on the piano as I led a guided meditation session at my local church and last night here she was giving the performance of her life to the accompaniment of the RWCMS’s Symphony Orchestra.
Siwan Rhys has worked hard developing her God given talent - and I suppose that the word ‘stick-to-itiveness’ best describes the secret of her success. The audience, however, didn’t get to see the many long and lonely hours of practise that were required in order to perfect a performance like last nights.
Recovery from addiction is much the same. We have to work hard on our recoveries; there are no days off; and confronting the’ burden of being human’ takes guts and a totally different attitude towards life to the one we used to have when we were using or drinking. But underpinning it all is ‘stick-to-itiveness’ – and ‘stick-to-itiveness’ is only possible when we learn to keep our eyes focused on today. (Keep them on tomorrow and yesterday – and we’ll end up cock-eyed today!) So we have to live in the “now”, in this very moment, – the only thing that’s real. To help you do this you can access a Guided Meditation – “The path to healing” – on our website, www.welshcouncil.org.uk. Just click on the icon – you’ll find it on our home page.
Incidentally, the Symphony Orchestra’s final piece last night was Symphonie Fantastique by Berlioz – a piece rumoured to have been written when the composer was under the influence of drugs. I’ll write again about the link between addiction and creativity - but it’s most certainly there, and hypersensitivity, constant contemplation and reflectiveness contribute mightily towards it. The link between ruminating personality and art is incontrovertible, as a number of psychological studies have shown. Besides, we’ve all been ‘tortured geniuses’ in our time haven’t we, and should have been granted life-time honorary membership of Equity, the actors’ union, a long time ago?