I went to see my brother’s semester high school play tonight. The performance was a mix of musical theater numbers and spoken word pieces spanning a number of genres. With only about 12 students participating, I was impressed and intrigued by the amount of work each student had to put in to cover multiple characters.
Yet as I sat in the dark theater, what really started occurring to me between numbers from Rent and Fiddler on the Roof was just how much I knew about the musical theater pieces; and how much I didn’t know.
Though I’ve always loved creative sorts of things, I was never much one for musical theater. I never hated it—but I never loved it. I was always somewhat ambivalent, happy to enjoy the music I liked, and dismiss the parts that bored me. Tonight, however, some of those same pieces that I may have dismissed years earlier came back to me in a different light. And even ones I’d liked before—somehow I found myself rediscovering an appreciation that seems to have been dormant for some time.
I suppose that we never know what exactly we like and don’t like because those things can change so drastically and so rapidly. Appreciation for something is a process just as much as is the production of it. Sometimes—as with that production—that appreciation can take years to develop and catalyze in a way that becomes concretely apparent to us. In that time, many times we pay it no heed. But at the moment that it becomes clear in an instant, it seems to have come out of nowhere. Perhaps it’s not that it came out of nowhere, but that it took more time to realize something’s potential and worth.