One of the things about touring with a band – as a newbie – which I am – is that you don’t know the rules. There’s a protocol, a flow, an etiquette that’s completely unwritten.
Everyone just knows …
… except me.
And since everyone just ‘knows it’ they can’t tell me what it is – until I do it wrong. So I’m constantly blundering onto people’s toes. Being where I’m not supposed to be when I’m not supposed to be there. Doing things I ‘should know better’ than to do. I really should! It’s all totally clear once I see it. I just don’t see it until I’ve stepped on it.
To everyone else it’s all obvious, common sense and good manners. So I come across as rude or disrespectful when I’m simply clueless.
And of course everyone’s too polite to tell me.
It’s painful being an idiot, especially at high levels of functionality, where you can really magnify your idiocy without even trying.
So I was in my hotel room today, licking the wounds I’ve inflicted on others when a link to this video popped into my inbox. A video of a little girl — with a message for me playing her version of a song I wrote.
Ten notes in, I was in tears.
Every imperfection in her playing is perfect. Every stumble is a balm, and her kiss at the end says to me: I know you. You, too are still learning. You, too, are stumbling, imperfect and earnest. We, two, are the same and that … is wonderful.
You never know what profound comfort your own performance can bring – when you’re suddenly in the right place at the right time for somebody. When you make that time and place right for someone – simply by reaching towards them.
Today that somebody was me. And this message arrived with perfect timing.
Thank you so much for sharing this… and your thoughts. A healing balm indeed and I can certainly understand how this little lady touched you so deeply…. a beautiful little shining light to start the day…. I hope today is better for you… 🙂
Blessings and Love,
You are such an inspiration Deborah!!! Big hug!!
The little girl with her harp is just precious. Made my day.
Looking forward to Dec. 21st.
Isn’t she lovely! And you have inspired her so . . . as you have me. This week I assigned The Nightingale to two of my students, a 10 year old Russian firl, and a teen with a lovely voice. Another of my students won a camp scholarship last summer performing “Nataliana.” So, you see, you are touching many lives in so many important ways!
Thanks from the bottom of OUR hearts.
Yes, Deborah, you inspire people! What a gift you share, and here so magically this comes back to you. She is precious.
I have so been there! Just remember you are an awesome, loving, amazing woman doing the best she can. Big hugs to you! Hope to see you in San Francisco.
1. I REALLY want to hear that girl in ten years!
2. “Nightengale” ALWAYS makes me cry (got to get around to ordering the sheet one of these days;-)
3. When my kids were small, and got frustrated with practicing, I used to try explaining this.
We practice the scales and the exercises, and it’s not much fun. We learn a little song, and it’s satisfying, but still really hard, and we keep doing the scales and the exercises.
We find some friends and play together, and that’s a kind of fun, but we know in our heart of hearts that it’s not what it could be, and we keep doing the scales and exercises.
We get good enough that people will give us money to play for them. Some of the people gush and gaw and tell us how good we are. We’re glad to hear it, but we might feel the tiniest bit guilty, because we know their not hearing the whole truth, and we go back to the scales and the exercises.
And then one day, for reasons I’ll never know and in a way that I can not reliably replicate, Art Happens around us, and all of it, the scales and the exercises and all that has gone before, are what makes us ready to be a part of it. And the feeling is so wonderful that we’ll go back to “working” at it for the rest of our lives, just to be ready if it happens again.
You’re in a new game, Deborah, taking your first stabs at some new exercises, some musical, some social. Don’t be discouraged.
I can’t believe I typed “their” when I meant “they’re”. Hanging head in shame.
Did I mention the concept of ‘perfectly imperfect’? Your comment was exactly that and nothing could be more perfect. Thank you so much.
That little harpist is precious!!! Her performance for you was truly a blessing for me to see and hear. I love her and you, Deborah! Blessings to you!