Our faithful conductor (of the Carrollton Wind Ensemble) always kicks us in the fanny every Fall with musical pieces that are beyond our reach. We have a very short time to pull it together ... I believe we had only six weeks this season to practice before our big fall concert.
Every year, I moan and complain about it, with my favorite saying, “I guess I’ll have to quit my day job to get this up to speed.” I don’t actually quit my day job, and then I torture my husband, family and neighbors with scales, squeaks and trills from my flute, eschewing responsibilities and events to try to make the Maestro happy.
Alas, I never get any of it perfect, as much as I try. I bemoan my youth, where I had the agility and energy to learn this blasted instrument but really didn’t. So now, in my fall years, I try valiantly and with commitment, getting half the results with twice the effort.
But I’m not going to quit trying. They say it’s good for our brains and our hands to keep playing as long as we can. I played basketball, softball and ran track in my youth. Not doing that now, but I can still sing and play my flute until I die, hopefully.
It seems silly, to practice my flute, even at the beach, but I can’t let up or it might slip away. I have to admit, it sounds like a lot of work, but I love that sweet, silky sound when a melody hits the right spot.
And I so enjoy joining with other humans with different instruments, to find a way to play something together. It’s beautiful, where people can get along and harmonize. Sorta like heaven, maybe.
I acted like a diva last week, stressed and self-important about my solo with the harpist. I tried to clear my calendar and practice more, took a couple of flute lessons, stayed home, lost a client or two. I was as skittish as a cat the last few days before the concert.
The night of, my heart was beating like a drum and I wondered if I might have an arrhythmia and die right there like my MawMaw and Daddy did, though there wasn’t a recliner involved so I felt fairly safe. Emma (the harpist) and I grabbed each other’s ice-cold hands and prayed for mercy. We all warmed up, then suddenly it was over.
We made mistakes, the Mozart was too loud, the Jupiter piece sounded like a train wreck, but the audience clapped and made over us all when it was over. As I sat in the restaurant after, where we gathered to laugh and eat, I thought about how life is .... how we work and play and stress about so much that really doesn’t matter. We hugged and went our separate ways. I slept like a kitten and haven’t practiced at all for nigh on a week now.
At the end of it, I simply thought, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (I Cor. 10:31) That goes for even a silly diva lady playing her flute ...