A parting of ways

Some will say it was inevitable. Others might feel some of my pain. It’s not easy when two people find themselves going in different directions, especially after blogging to the world that they had fallen in love. Well, actually, I blogged … he still doesn’t know I exist.

I met him last March. Me and 299 others sat and watched him for 20 minutes, most of us enthralled, some disgusted. Then later that year, in December, our paths crossed again. I just couldn’t get enough of him but he travels a lot and is rarely in Budapest. I saw him tonight, though, and sadly, while I can still attach every superlative I know to him and not feel that I’m exaggerating in the slightest, it seems that we’ve come to a parting of ways.

havasiAside from the TEDx appearance (the cupid moment), Havasi’s first major appearance in Budapest was to an audience of 600. Then in December 2011, he played to 4000. Tonight he played to 12 000. At one time there were 200 musicians on stage with violin-playing angels suspended from the rafters and choirs singing in mid-air. His Hooligan buddy Endi even played the drums upside down as his drumcage revolved and turned on its head. The opening light sequence was masterful. The video backdrops were stunning. The sound and light effects throughout would have been at home in Las Vegas. It was a truly magnificent performance. And therein lies the rub – it was a performance. [He changed his outfit four times, for God’s sake. Four times! That’s a Rod-Stewart-type record!]

I’m in a spin. My head is all over the place. My heart is broken (yes, I’m in a dramatic place these days!). I am so happy for him that he’s playing to such huge crowds at home and to such great applause. I’m delighted that he can command the best of the best to appear on stage with him. I’m thrilled skinny that he’s still as talented and as passionate as ever about his music. But deep down inside, there’s a piece of me that’s sad because now that he’s big, it will never be the same.

havasi 2Somewhat poetically, earlier this evening over dinner, conversation dwelt for a while on growth – business growth – and how it has become a priority for many. It seems as if success and expansion have a chicken-and-egg thing going. But when you grow, when you expand, what do you have to give up? Quality? Time? That personal touch? Those little details that make you special, that make you different? I’m not naive enough to think that growth should be banned and that cottage industries should reign supreme. Neither am I advocating the death of multinationals and the propagation of small businesses. I’m just wondering aloud here. Is there a middle-ground? Or is that what we call mediocrity?

Do we all have to be bigger and better, continually striving for fame and glory, profit and gain? Or is this just the lot of a small portion of society? Am I just too lazy to expand and too indifferent to want to make millions? Perhaps having drawn a firm line between ‘want’ and ‘need’ has me the way I am.  Yes, I’ve done my five minutes of navel gazing and no, I’m not envious of Havasi. And no, I don’t begrudge his success. I’m just sad that he’s moved on – albeit to bigger things – and that the magic has gone. And I’m a tad upset that he’s left me with all these unanswered questions.

And even more poetically, as I listen over and over again You are a lover – an original Havasi composition that Tracey Thorn made famous –  I feel a little like the song says … only I got dumped in the wake of success and while I will no doubt dream of him tonight, I don’t want it all happening to me.

That makes it my issue… damn!

3 replies
  1. Caroline Mercer
    Caroline Mercer says:

    The loss that comes with success, popularity and wealth, and your loss of belief in Havasi; is that what’s happened ? Brought to mind, the thought of “gross national happiness”, an idea being developed in Butan. It’s four principles being:- 1, sustainable and equable society.
    2, Conservation of the environment.
    3, Preservation and promotion of culture,
    and, 4, Good Governance.
    The Minister of Education has been quoted as saying, “you cannot have a prosperous nation in the long run that does not conserve its natural environment or take care of the well being of its people, which is being borne out by what is happening to the world outside”. (Butan)
    Yet we (that is the western world outside) are conditioned to seek success and growth, both individually and as corporations, to compete, and to win,
    But to what end, and what about the so called losers ? One example of so called corporate success, “Shell”, that great oil company, great at what ?Certainly not taking care of our environment, or being overly concerned about the well being of people, and certainly not concerned with the preservation and promotion of culture. Yet they are just one, not alone and definitely not arising from, “good governance”.
    So, poor Havasi, enjoying his transient success, following the path expected of him by his managers, his promoters, all driven by the lure of fame, money to be made, possessions to be acquired; and for him ultimately, the loss of his culture, family, friends and his fans.
    What a world !!!!!

    Reply
    • Mary
      Mary says:

      Yet is this just me imposing my ideals on him? Why not go for it – and be the best you can be. It’s that measurement of best that I can’t fathom. World-stage musicians affect millions of lives – for the better – so why begrudge them. Maybe I need to dig out Schumacher’s Small is beautiful…

      Reply

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