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March 11, 2021: Conducting the Bright Lights Symphony Orchestra

I love to go to symphonies and orchestras. I most enjoy watching the conductors, all of whom have considerable presence and confidence. There they are, moving in time with the music, indicating to the various parts of the assemblage, when to start, stop, speed up, and slow down. It is like conductors are a part of a dance they are choreographing. I can’t pretend to understand any of the nuances that are involved. And because I know so little, I can’t write about what they do in an emotive and/or coherent fashion.

Today I got to thinking that I am the conductor of the Bright Lights Symphony Orchestra. I then started to run with this

analogy. I see the various designated roles that people are taking on as being like parts of symphony. For instance, there are those who sort, categorize, clean, and distribute the books. And there are those whose additional areas of expertise are grant writing, publicity, and funding.

Sometimes, some, like the sorters, are on the forefront, and then they step back and allow the distributers to take center stage.

I was thinking along these lines this morning at the Valley Arts Alliance meeting. I, who had the score in hand, was briefly running the show. I had before me, several individuals who I’d designated for specific jobs. Alas, this is a group that did not see a need for a conductor, which was why, after a bit, they all began playing their own sections. The din was deafening. I found myself thinking, I’m glad this is just a rehearsal.

And so, I began talking with each of them, individually. I got two long time VAA members to be liaisons – their job is now to coordinate with the local recycling center and get the newspaper box project and the public art bookend project up and running. I also talked with a fellow who will gladly (when the time comes) make bookends for the children’s bookend project.

This was the most amazing thing of all. I caught the attention of an individual who I dubbed a creative. She likes being in the limelight, and has a lot of very imaginative ideas. I talked with her for a bit about banning books, and then we decided to go over to the recycling center and make a banned book video, the setting being the sorting area.

I had to, and did, think on my feet. I have noticed that humor works best when you have one person who is a comedian, and another who is the straight person. I decided I would be the straight person. So, I climbed into a Gaylord and, with a fairly straight face, handed her books. She then talked about why, say, an algebra text, a child’s book, a textbook, should be banned.

I later watched this video and, indeed, it is quite funny. We are going to make a series of videos on book banning, once a week.

I wish I could bring this dispatch to life by making an analogy between each musical grouping and project grouping, but I cannot, for I don’t know enough about what the various musical groupings are. However, I like the analogy that I have come up with and am going to continue to bring it to mind as this project evolves.

Next: 71. 3/12/21: The Unimportance of Routine

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