I remember when my Junes were very different. As I reached the end of each teaching year I was exhausted and conflicted. Another year of teaching was etched on my belt as members of my theater family were exiting permanently. But then, I was so ready to slow down and recreate my routine.
I remember too, the end of a play. I love the process of creating a play with theater kids but the performance was more for them than me. Once we arrived at opening night I proudly handed the baby to my cast and the production staff to see it through and satisfy our audiences. I sat in the back row of the auditorium and watched, trouble shooting only when necessary. I sat with you, on our opening night and watching to see if it made sense to you. I greeted and congratulated parents and made sure the audience behaved. But I didn’t feel the heat of the spotlight. It was out of my hands.
But my guitar performance on Friday night put me in that same spotlight as my young actors and it even when I panicked a week before I knew the challenge, was necessary to move my playing forward. and it was a great night. A group of 5 friends came for wine, food and my guitar playing.
I planned a very light day- an early exercise session with Anthony, legs only, last minute food shopping at Fairway. a new guitar chair from Bed, Bath and Beyond, light white wine from my local shop, lunch at a Nyack French bistro with Bonnie C. just to stay calm and distracted. Stay calm… deep breathing, meditating… time to change clothes- still loose and casual, set up the table, appetizers ready, new wine summer wine glasses from Pier 1.
And then a mini freak out at 5:30
Jonathan, my guitar teacher was good for a text chat…. then guests arrived… introductions, wine and apps to sample (not me) and by 7:00 everyone settled in around the living room to listen and support. Now I was on and as much as I tried, my left hand shook with nerves most of the time. I needed that hand to create a great sound, to technically lead the way. Instead, I had to try to calm it down so it could hold the sound….
Sometimes that worked. I got sweet support but no, I wasn’t satisfied.
I’ve been in this place with my guitar before in the last 15 years since I began this journey and finally I have reached this place after 3 months of solid practice where I can make my guitar sing, really sing. Just as I loved the process of creating a play, I came to love the process of preparing for my mini concert. Almost every night, just before I shut down my apartment, I played my 5 piece night cap. Even though, under the pressure of an audience, my left hand freaks out still. I understand that without a performance to set on the calendar, practice for itself is not enough. It’s important to share the love.
So there’s slow and steady progress with my guitar and slow and steady progress in this chapter of my life as a whole. I’m not ready to put away any of the pieces of our life together, but someday I will have to… Slow and steady moving privately and publicly is the best I can do.
Have a wonderful summer Slicer friends…