Sidewalk Flowers

Leave it to the unruly children during tutoring sessions to provide inspiration for your next composition.

I was on the verge of yelling at one kid earlier, because he would not sit still and listen. He was off in his own world while I frantically jabbed my index finger at his sheet music in an effort to get his attention, when, like a soft bloom, he plucked out a melody with his spindly fingers. It was so simple and he likely didn’t realize his own creation (he went on to smash keys and experiment with the pedal, a budding avant-garde artist), but I was struck by how transient it felt, as if I had spotted a spectral visage or a random act of kindness.

I suppose inspiration comes from what you make of what you see: an overturned vase, a dog-eared page, a naive melody, a hummingbird, sidewalk flowers bursting through an impossible crack.


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