4.24.2015

Redemption

Lovelies, this has been a week.

A roller coaster, one that seemed more affectionate towards the frustrating lows than any soaring highs or cool loop-de-loops. (Really, it was a whole stinky pile of equal parts not-good and confusing. )

But today? I finally got to the top of the hill. And the view was breathtaking.

I'll spare you the stinky parts: here's the good stuff!

- a good night's sleep (always makes things better, right?)
- a good hair day. (-ish, but I'll take it.)
- tying up loose ends before a number of days out-of-the-office. (productive AND fun! out-of-office FTW)
- a quick meeting with colleagues that I adore over delicious sandwiches. (Zoƫ's Kitchen? I lurve those steak stacks. YUM.)
- the soft announce of next year's chamber music series.
- a crowd that was young and fun at the show. (which included the hubby. SCORE!)
- Mozart. Radiohead. Piazzola. And a beautiful commission called Jan's (yan's?) Flight by Sybarite5.

It might've been 13-hour workday, but it was an excellent 13-hour workday.

Here's to pushing through, to that silver lining slapping the myopic of us in the face (hallo.), to friends and stories and dreams and adrenalin. To wearing fishnets because you've run out of tights but it's too cold to go completely bare-legged, and to pairing said fishnets with fuzzy slippers because your office is cold. To the feeling of relief. To being simultaneously surprised AND delighted! To changing plans at the last-minute to something better and/or less stressful. To Brubeck and Piazzola and Radiohead. 

To nursing a glass of wine in front of the late show as your boys sleep soundly and snore through the tv audio. 

To that feeling when the adrenalin is gone, and it's late, and you're finally, finally ready for bed.
Good night, sweet friends.


4.13.2015

Stretching.

I don't perform really at all, anymore. I can play a mean rhythm keyboard, accompany the easiest of musical theater tunes, sing along with any number of songs in my car/in the shower/at the piano/along with my iPod walking through the streets of my town. I love doing all of those things, but they're low-stress outings.

Solo piano? That's tough for me. I've played for forever - had my first lesson when I was 3. But it's always been a means of self-expression. And, when I play for people, the level of chatter in my head is DEAFENING. Really, it's the loudest thing I've maybe ever experienced that isn't actually, well, loud.

And it's defeating. Paralyzing. I can't get past the first sounds - too loud, too messy, too wrong.

Tonight? I played (that might be too generous a word, but bear with me.) a Chopin waltz. In front of people. I've played it for months, off and on, but only for me. (well, and the hubby - who is always supportive, and the animals - who are indifferent at best to my pounding.) I struggle so with playing in public; as someone who trained as a musician, but is no longer really a practicing musician, the mountain looms much larger than it ever did.

But one time, months ago, when I had made it through with some finesse, I made myself a promise that I'd play it in front of people.

So this morning (#committmentissues), I volunteered to play it for a little staff get-together. Low stress, an easy audience and a ridiculously beautiful piano. Piece of cake, right?

Aherm.

I made a LOT of mistakes.
Like, a million. Like I tried to improv or modulate into another key mistakes. Wild, ridiculous things.

BUT.

I played it. Granted, I had played it for a pal prior to the "performance" and nailed it. Felt really good that someone outside of my family heard me not suck.

But I played it. In front of talented folks who were months/years from their peak (instead of decades. Ouff.) And I made it through, without quitting. The piano didn't melt, the listeners didn't scream in pain. (Well, out loud, at least. Or maybe I was preoccupied...)

I can't actually say that it even really felt good. Sure, the checking off the 'goal accomplished' box feels good, but as always I was so, so happy when I hit that last note and was done.

I am, however, so happy and grateful to have the opportunity to stretch! How often do we get the chance to try things again and see if they fit, to work towards something that's not squarely in our professional wheelhouse, to crash and burn in a gentle way? To work towards something, to meet a goal, to play - albeit marginally - alongside performers who have chops felt really good.

Tomorrow? I think I'll pick a new tune to learn. For next year.