Letters to Tuvia Y2:And it’s the Next Day (6-13-17) #sol17

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…

Bonnie S.


12 thoughts

  1. Performing in front of an audience, no matter how small, takes courage. From the audiences point of view: being trusted to be part of selected audience feels very special. I love the pics of you and your guitar.

  2. Bonnie, I celebrate your bravery at putting together your mini-concert. Friends are so supportive. Your home is perfectly set for a wonderful evening. May your guitar continue to sing sweet songs. I am going to design a summer gallery called Sunkissed Summer. If you have a tune that you would like to video (be brave), I would love to showcase it.

  3. Have I ever told you about my grandma taking up the piano after retirement? She did! And loved it. But she never really reached a place where she was comfortable performing. Mostly I think she enjoyed the weekly visits with her piano teacher. Because of her lessons, I got lessons too and I loved it. I loved your description of opening night…you in the back and the students doing their best up front. Isn’t that how all teaching should end?

  4. Congratulations, Bonnie. After the time and effort you put into preparing for this recital I am sure it was wonderful. Slow and steady – that is the way things get done.

  5. As you describe, the process of preparing to share your music with an audience is rarely easy. That said, the picture of you beaming with your guitar is a wonderful testament to the fruits of your labor.

  6. This is significant and true: ” I understand that without a performance to set on the calendar, practice for itself is not enough. It’s important to share the love.” I’m so glad that you saw the performance through after reading earlier posts. Bravo.

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