Years ago at the College of Marin, where I first got serious about learning harp, I took a Physical Education class from a teacher whose name I wish I could remember.
She was talking about swimming when said that every activity has two parts: the effort and the glide. And if you’re not riding on that glide, you’re not fully engaging in the activity.
I constantly ask myself: where is the glide in what I’m doing?
And I’m often frustrated that I think I’m missing the connection, focusing too much on effort, inhibiting my glide.
Then just this morning, writing my weekly e-newsletter, I was explaining that I often do things to push me past my comfort zone, as a way of expanding as a performer. I found myself writing this:
I’m constantly trying to figure out how to engage more with my work or my instrument … So I’m constantly pushing myself — often into situations where I’m way out of my depth.
This pushing all happens off-stage, kind of like the flurry of pushing you give to a scooter or a skateboard … and the glide is what happens on stage.
BOOM! Eureka!!! I never knew that! But I always knew that!
And while that doesn’t explain why I was recently inspired to wear a bathing cap on stage — it does explain I’m so driven to keep making that push.