Reader, you're still here? Good.
This is a question that many people have seen: If you were a crayon, what color would you be and why? I've tossed this question around with friends in the past. I've probably thought about it much more than I should have. I do that, though. Part of my charm.
So, what color crayon would you be? Would you be brown, because you like chocolate cake? Or perhaps you'd be burnt umber, because you like the name and no one knows what umber is when they're five years old. Or green, for when you look at it you remember walking through dandelion-filled meadows with gentle breezes blowing. There are many colors and many reasons for choosing them. Your choice is yours!
I would be the white crayon.
What the fu.. what!? The white crayon? What on earth for? Well... again, I've thought of this for a long time. So first, a story. That's what you come here for, after all.
Last night I had an experience that I've had many times before; I was ignored. Some background and context-- Last night I attended a concert of choral music. I'm a (mostly) self-taught singer, an amateur. I sing for love of music, but hold no illusions about my talent and skill. There are some videos on the interwebs of me singing-- feel free to check them out and criticize my pitch, intonation, and vowel-shapes. I know what I sound like. After the show, there was a small reception-- drinks, snacks, conversation. I made a small circuit of the room, speaking to people I knew, meeting people I didn't. Now, in the choral world of this area where I live there are "household names" and people recognized for their craft, and I (believe it, Reader) am not one of those names. I'm okay with that! What I'm not okay with is speaking to one of the persons known for what they do, and having someone else walk up and interrupt me. Mid-sentence. It's a situation that happens to me a lot. it happens at work, it happened in school. It's been happening my whole fucking life. Me in mid-sentence, and someone else walking up and talking over me. And my listener shifting their attention to the newcomer. Dismissed, like a child. Maybe it's because I'm uninteresting, or short (63 whole inches tall!), or I talk too much. Whatever the reasons, I hate it when it happens. You'd think after a few decades on this good earth I'd be over it, but I'm not that strong. I nearly cried last night over this.
Good story, Melephant. What's the point? Be patient.
I was snubbed in this manner not once, nor twice, but thrice! So I went to another room to check on cleanup. I saw a friend who was busy, and said hi. He asked me if I could make sure the food wasn't put away so he could eat when he was done putting stuff away. I made him a plate, instead. I saw someone's water bottle left behind, so I grabbed it and returned it to them. I saw programs left behind, so I picked them up. You know, little stuff. Important stuff.
You see, I'm not the flashy colors in the crayon box, like neon pink or chartreuse. I'm not the somber and stoic navy blue or royal purple. I'm not even the reliable and familiar red, green, brown, black or orange. I am the white crayon. I'm the one that's mostly ignored, nice and sharp in the box, ready and willing and more than able to help bring creations to life, but unfortunately, my presence is oft-o'erlooked. Like me, the white crayon has a special purpose. Like the white crayon, my specialty is stepping in where others haven't noticed something needed done. My time to shine is during the times when others don't know what to do, or don't want to do it. Because you see, when you draw, you ordinarily draw on white paper, right? So the white crayon doesn't do much for you... The white crayon and I, we aren't stars. Our talent is supporting others, making them shine. Draw something on an egg with the white crayon before dyeing it, and watch a design come to life that couldn't have existed without the highly-specialized, unsung, mostly ignored white stick of wax.
We all have a purpose. Mine is not an easy one to fulfill. It's hard to be ignored, constantly, but in my heart of hearts I know, someday it will be my time to shine, albeit behind others. Illuminating them.
I love you, Reader. I appreciate you taking the time to read this. And those videos I mentioned? The links are here, somewhere. Just read what I wrote and you'll get the hint you need.
I knew you'd get it!
I learned this song in two days! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVeG3tNQHaU
This one took longer than two days; courtesy of Wyoming County Chorale http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUN0eH3xANE