Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The critical part of yesterday's post is the imagined/remembered question: "Can't they see how clumsy I am?"--a question worthy of some spinning out.

A child honestly believes that adults can discern their every need: after all, don't they feed you when you are hungry and comfort you when you cry?

No matter how intelligent the child there are needs that only a specialist can detect because they know how to pay attention to the whole inarticulate being.

It does not require extraordinary sensitivity for a child to know "how clumsy" he or she is: being consistently the last one chosen for the team is a pretty clear indication of that. But musical talent may be for just such a child the sign that something else is going on--an alternative source of grace and elegance.

Talent does not make the need go away, however. Despite the praise (perhaps overly lavish by way of compensation for the more obvious clumsiness) the child may still feel clumsy, even while being applauded for playing the piano.