Cake and Sorrow

15 June 2001

If I was God, and I was going to put a big code in the Bible -- there's a lot of room in the Bible for encoding stuff -- the first thing I'd encode is a recipe for something like the best flourless chocolate cake ever. So that people knew it was me.

Timprov says this is probably one of the reasons I'm not God. I think it's just a reason to take people who claim they've decoded the Bible with a big ol' grain of salt.

On a darker note, it's happened again.

Parents are supposed to be the most basic set of people who love you. They're the base case. Everyone has them. Other family members can count here, too. Everyone else who loves you, you have to go out and get for yourselves, but your family -- especially your parents -- are supposed to love you no matter what. They're supposed to want what's best for you. They're supposed to want to see you do well for yourself, by yourself, and they're supposed to love you whether you do what they would have chosen or not.

I would know, because my parents do.

But once upon a time -- no. Twice upon a time. There was a girl who had an amazing gift for music. She could play like all the spirits of heaven and earth moved through her hands. Listening to her made me weep. You didn't have to know about music to know how good she was. She spoke best that way, and when she was relaxed and not paying attention, her hands followed the conversation with phantom notes.

Her parents were not musicians. Her parents were practical people, and they wanted to see their daughter do well in the world. They said they would not pay for conservatory. She said she could get a scholarship -- and it was true, she could. They said that if she did, she would not be their daughter. She didn't say anything. They said she needed to go into something scientific. She did.

She doesn't play any more. There are all sorts of official explanations, but the truth is, it's just too painful for her to contemplate what she gave up. She can't do it halfway. It's not a hobby to her. So she can't do it at all.

I don't really blame her for choosing to keep her parents instead of her music. Except on the days that I do.

Once was too much. Twice is an insult from the universe.

I feel like thanking my parents, after I hear news like this, except that I have higher standards than that. "Dear Mom and Dad, Thanks for not crushing my dreams beneath your heel and grinding until they were dust. Love, me." Just doesn't seem like the sort of thing I should have to be particularly grateful for.

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