Perhaps you’re familiar with the musical Rent. (Now before my fellow-homeschooler friends stop reading this and disown me, hear me out.) It’s a tragic story, made more tragic by the fact that Jonathan Larson died the night before it opened. I don’t support many of the themes of the story, and I don’t agree with much of Larson’s philosophy. As a parody of La Bohème, I think it’s a piece of genius. All moral quandaries aside, the show itself has some definite moments of brilliance and others of…insipidity. (“Finale A”, for instance makes me want to cry, while “Light My Candle” is crude and just…awkward.) My favorite character is definitely “Roger”, partially because he’s one that any aspiring writer can relate to.
Perhaps the best known song from the show is the famous, “One Song, Glory”, sung by “Roger” (originally Adam Pascal) as he worries that he will never make his mark musically on the world before he dies of AIDS. The words speak to a writer like myself who hopes to make her mark somehow, someday (though I don’t believe I’m dying yet). And the song is made more beautiful by the fact that it’s sung by Adam Pascal (who I have a major crush on) in his lovely, raspy, rocker-like voice (which I have another separate crush on).
While the entire song is SO applicable to my dreams as a writer, there’s a bit that I especially love:
“Glory, in a song that rings true
Truth like a blazing fire
An eternal flame
Find one song- a song about love
Glory, from the soul of a young man
A young man…”
I don’t need to be the next Suzanne Collins, Shannon Hale, or Veronica Roth. I don’t think I ever could be, by any means. But I want to accomplish something, and to know that I have. The theme quotation for my life is one by Franz Kafka. He says, “I want to escape the unrest, to shut out the voices around me and within me, and so I write.” My soul needs to write. I can’t survive without stories.
In all humility, I don’t think I’m without talent, at least. There’s a line in Aida (another favorite Adam Pascal musical) in the reprise of “My Strongest Suit” where Amneris and Aida lament that, “a life of great potential is dismissed, inconsequential”. I’d like to believe that I have potential, at least, as a writer. And I don’t want whatever gifts God has deigned to bless me with to go to waste, for my life to be inconsequential. In one sense I would be happy just sitting at home writing for the rest of my life, but at the same time, I don’t want only that.
I need to do something.
With God’s grace, hopefully I will.