The other day I was watching the movie Once. If you have not seen this film, I highly recommend it. It is an odd sort of tale in the sense that it acts like a love story but does not follow some of the predictable patterns of similar stories. You can almost say that the affection is geared mostly towards the music that is created, or perhaps it is more about the art that is created when there is an honest and dedicated love underneath it all. More than anything though, I think it is a film about loyalty. The characters are loyal to each other, to their other loved ones and to the music that is being created.
My favorite scene occurs at the very beginning. The black screen opens up to a street performer playing his guitar with the case at his feet, and he is presumably alone on Dublin’s Grafton Street just belting his heart out. He sings a song that could be directed at a lover or the divine, either way there is a desperation and vulnerability that is gut-level honest and utterly human. Sometimes I have no idea why this scene impacts me so profoundly, yet I know that somewhere in that scene I can see myself so clearly. I can echo those words he sings because I have been there, sometimes I am always there. More so, he is dedicated to his craft, to his love. He sings as if performing for a vast audience, yet only finds one in the moment. It does not matter either way, for the creation of the art is the upmost importance here. He has made a commitment, and whether he stays on the street or moves on to different venues, he will continue to show up and to create.
I desire to be like that. No matter what, just showing up and creating. The results do not matter as much as the process, because the process is the true story. That is the story that changes us.
As we begin this new year, my hope and my prayer is to keep showing up and creating.
Here is the scene: