So what happened – your flute was your passion? The lens became cracked, the strap wore down and the passion goggles began to slip from my head. Eventually, they were only fit for the bin.
Let me tell you about my flute lessons. I would turn up each Tuesday either on time or just before. Ring the doorbell. Eventually the teacher would answer the door; I had either interrupted her vacuum cleaning or filling her washing machine. She opened the door, I would exchange pleasantries with her and we would proceed to the ‘music room’. Invariably the room was a mess and I had to make room on a chair, by removing children’s stuff, so I had somewhere to put my coat and bag. It was as if she hadn’t known I was coming. I would start warm-up exercises on my flute, and the teacher would disappear again on some domestic errand. She would return and I would perform a piece of music I had been practising all week. Through my peripheral vision as I was playing, I would often either see her yawn or look out of the window. Sometimes the phone would ring mid-lesson, “Is it all right if I get it, I am expecting…”, so the teacher would disappear and I would carry on playing. She returned and the lesson resumed. With hindsight, maybe I didn’t have the full attention of my flute teacher.
None of this registered at the time because my passion-goggles were on and all I believed was everyone had a passion for music and the flute, particularly my flute teacher. The flute teacher’s job was just that, a job; you mustn’t confuse a job for a passion. I guess the proper word for someone who has a passion for their work is probably ‘vocation’.
The flute teacher got religion about bureaucracy and we parted company when she tried to pass-off a contract she’d found in a Christmas cracker (Music Union contract did lack what they would call in legal parlance equal ‘consideration’). Silly cow!
My passion-googles started to deteriorate. I slowly discovered most people can’t/won’t play a musical instrument and those who do play couldn’t/wouldn’t play with me. So flute playing became a lonely bedroom activity. That is until my passion-googles broke and the flute now resides in the attic. I feel a sense of shame.
The truth is most of the time the world will never share your passion. Passion-goggles are good to wear but you don’t see the world in all its colours, only in rose-tinted shades. I still own several pairs of passion-goggles which I have on at least once a day, but I have learnt to take them off from time to time, so daylight can properly hit my eyes. I know dear Reader, that some of you have never wore a pair of passion-goggles and I am not sure whether I should celebrate or commiserate with you. All I would say is this, if you get a pair remove them before driving!