As much as I take pleasure in being something important to someone else, and as much as it is a major part of my make up to be so, sometimes it’s necessary to be myself in a solitary manner. It’s not selfish, just smart.
Getting back into my music making, in perhaps a more aware manner this time, has allowed me to find an unexpected but important side effect. When I am playing, especially in an ensemble of some kind, I am not anybody’s mother or wife or teacher or daughter. I’m not supposed to be somewhere else, I’m exactly where I should be. What is important is what is in front of me. I’m myself, responsible only for how I perform. If I mess up, I can fix it next time with more practice. If I do well, it’s only due to me, not to those around me. Though much of the joy of ensemble playing is what I help to create as I add myself to the efforts of others, it’s a singular me that gets added. I don’t bring baggage along.
Then, after I’m done playing, I can return to being something for others. Renewed and refreshed, stronger and more true.