As I am slowly beginning to discover in Bosnia, things will happen when they are supposed to happen. They can’t be forced, rushed or sometimes even planned. My natural state of being is someone who always has a plan, a schedule, a task to be completed or an errand to run. In Bosnia, this approach to life, or any aspect of it, simply doesn’t work. I have been forced to relax, breath and settle into this easy state of letting things happen, or not, as they are supposed to. In doing so, I have found that all of the things that I need to get done still do; somehow they just do. Despite the slower pace of getting things done and the time spent breathing and just letting things happen, everything still gets done. Sometimes the definition of done may need a little revision and the list gets reprioritized a time or two, but at the end of the day, the important things have happened. What’s more, one has actually enjoyed doing them just a little bit more because of that slower pace. While I recognize that this slower pace and focus on relationships is not by any means the norm for everyone in the country and arguably, it has impacts both positive and negative politically, developmentally and other…that’s a discussion for another blog post. The point is that for me on an individual basis, and it seems like for many Bosnians as well, in letting things just happen and taking a moment to breath, things still get done. Events still happen. The details may change or as I have mentioned before be hard to come by, but when they do come together they are truly amazing.
One of my favorite events attended so far while in Sarajevo came together in just this way. We saw posters and information about a concert that was going to be given by the Balkan Chamber Orchestra at the National Theatre. We had a date, a time and even a place…but that was about it. As to whether or not the event needed tickets, required prior purchase of said tickets or might be in a completely different place by the time that we arrived was all up in the air. But, all you can do is try so we went to the National Theatre and found that we were at least still in the right location and at seemingly the right time. However, tickets were required. In looking around it didn’t seem as though there was anywhere to get tickets…other than the one person that Jillian just happened to ask about tickets. She had extras, enough for all of us. Of all of the people standing in that courtyard we just happened to ask the right person.
The concert itself was amazing. It was the final concert in a series of concerts titled “The Road to World Peace” and had been organized in commemoration of the 100 year anniversary of WWI. To be able to listen to pieces by Mozart and Beethoven performed in the kind of concert hall that they were composed to be performed in was truly a gift. Further, it was incredibly poignant to listen to the music, here in Sarajevo knowing that the performance was meant to deliver a message of peace and hope. This orchestra, as well as the pianist, singers and two choirs made me forget about how incredibly hot it was. And it didn’t seem to matter that all of our legs seemed to be too long to sit comfortably. The music in that setting and by those performers made it all worth it. You couldn’t help but be moved by the orchestra’s performance and the choir’s powerful voices. It was an event that came together in what I am finding to be typical Bosnian fashion and ended up being so worth letting the details work themselves out as they needed to. At the end of the day, you can’t force perfect timing. And, if you try to, you may end up missing all of the unexpected surprises and events this country and its people have in store for you.