I had an extraordinary day yesterday. In the afternoon I read chamber music that was all new to me (The Benjamin Dale Phantasy for Viola and Piano, some viola and piano pieces by Theodor Kirchner, and some trios by Arnold Bax, Philipp Scharwenka, and Prince Heinrich XXIV Reuss of Köstritz. Physically exhausted (one really shouldn't play the viola for three hours in a row without a break, but I did), I spent the hour driving to my next rehearsal listening to a recording of violin and piano music that was mostly new to me, and then played the viola part of Shostakovich 5 for the first time (it was a awesome experience). During my ride home I heard a violin and piano suite by Malcolm Arnold, a violin and piano piece by Joaquin Rodrigo, and a string quartet by Félicien-César David. All three pieces were new to me, and all were fantastic ear-opening experiences.
I was so giddy with happiness that I didn't even notice any of the physical tolls of the day (and evening). Seeing the video below (which I found on Charles Noble's Nobleviola Blog) made me understand why.
This is why we do what we do. We make ourselves happy with music (and in my case it happens to be connected with musical discovery), and we share that happiness. That's it. That's all that matters. And we need to keep reminding ourselves that it matters. Every day.