Monday, October 8, 2012

Unfinished Symphony

Franz Schubert's Symphony No. 8 in B minor is well known as the "unfinished symphony". It hints at great potential and artistry, yet the specific reasons as to why it was never completed are lost to history. Experts and pundits can only speculate and guess. Yet most would agree that the world was denied something of potentially great beauty when this work was set aside.

I thought about this the other day as I was hanging up some clothes in my daughter's closet. Up against the closet wall were several plastic bags containing unfinished art projects that she had started. As soon as I peeked inside the bags I was immediately transported back several years to the exact moment when she had gotten fired up on them.
  • One bag contained a Disney fairies coloring book. I remember going to several stores looking for this book. Once we got it home, we spent a couple of hours picking out her favorite shades of colored pencils. She then watched over me as I carefully sharpened each one. One evening we sat together and wandered through the pages of the book and let our imaginations soar. She then got started on the page that she had picked out. Now, after all this time, there is only this one page, half finished to mark what could have been.

  • One bag contained a Perler bead peg board with a sketch of a design that she wanted to make. I remember when she got started laying out the beads. Something distracted her and I remember that she bumped against the table that she was working on and the beads spilled off her work. We carefully put everything into the bag and set it next to the couch for her next opportunity. That opportunity never came.

  • Another bag contained a paint by numbers set. She was so excited to dive into this one. A lively canvas of spirited colts in a field. Yet after unpacking the box and laying everything out, not a single brush stroke was laid down. Now everything sits as it was at that moment and the ponies are stabled.
I can't help but feel a bit of melancholy that a wonderful spark of excitement and creativity and muse was given off but never captured. Now the bags filled with their projects sit forgotten at the bottom of my daughter's closet.