Gloria or Three Blind Mice?

    I do love a good quote. But a quote sometimes begins by sounding really good before it gives me pause. This is the second quote I’ve used from Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese – sign of an excellent book!

“Why settle for ‘Three Blind Mice’ when you can play the ‘Gloria’?...not Bach’s ‘Gloria’…, Yours! Your ‘Gloria’ lives within you. The greatest sin is not finding it, ignoring what God made possible in you.”  [page 6]

My first reaction was in favor of the quote, thinking it was a glorified version of the Army’s slogan, “Be all you can be.” Then I turned it around and looked at it from another angle. What if “Three Blind Mice” is the best you have? Does that mean you’re insignificant?

I have three children who could play Bach’s “Gloria” from the “Gloria” that resided within them – either on the piano or cello. They tried to hide their smirks when I took a turn on the home piano.

With nine months of piano lessons from a very good high school piano student and not a lot of natural talent, my claim to musicianship is that I can play anything a second grader needs to sing. My “talent” actually came in handy for a while. In this day when the arts are the first thing to go in educational budget cuts, the music program in our school with twelve second grade classes disappeared.

I’m sorry to say we had taken for granted the talented young musician who loved teaching children. He knew how to get them to count time, stay on pitch, and have fun all at the same time. He could both do the “Gloria” himself and teach it to children.

We were left with a makeshift program composed of my “Three Blind Mice” and other childhood standards. But the children responded to my demands that they keep time and sing on key. They learned that “loud” and “good” are not synonyms. And they reported at home that Mrs. Butler was a wonderful pianist. [My smirking children at home couldn’t resist laughing out loud at that report.]

So, I think I’m back to loving the quote. With an appreciative audience, I enjoyed doing a mean version of “Mr. Frog Went A-Courtin’.”