Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Applause No More

Well, at least, it isn't audible. Every now and again I receive an email from a grateful mom informing me of her kid's progress on the clarinet. The clarinet... that word is so funny when you think about it. I asked a kiddo to hand me her clarinet today and, I was so exhausted by that point that the only thing going through my head at the moment had nothing to do with technique or reeds or, well, anything important. All I could think was, "Clar-i-net. What a weird word."

It's funny how wrapped up my life has been in an the oddly named piece of hollowed out wood.

I used to want to be a pilot. I have no idea why. Then an astronaut... Then a biologist. Man, I wanted to do something smart and important. Music took over- captivated me. I was actually trapped. Just play. That's all I wanted to do.

Funny how I n.e.v.e.r. wanted to be a teacher for a living. I mean, on the side- SURE! But not all day every day. That was not ever my plan. I am the oldest of 6 kids. I was a teacher from the time I was 2. I was ready to move on.

So, I went to Eastman. I said I was going for the mission field experience. I lied.


Let's be honest. Why do I care s.o.m.u.c.h about what people think? Why did I agonize to the point of irreversible injury over what my teacher and my peers thought of my freshman recital? Why do I care that I did not play perfectly in a Mozart serenade during sophomore year? Why do I care what C,A,J,Y,K,J,M,C,G,S,A, and V all think of my playing? Why am I still s.o.a.n.g.r.y at people who don't even know me? Why do I even care that they didn't want to know me?


No, really. Why? Because I want people to like me.

That performer's certificate I planned to get? YEAH FREAKING RIGHT. I could barely hold my clarinet by that point. And I felt ashamed????????

No one can possibly know. I mean, as disjunct as this post is, my artist heart is even more completely torn and stomped and smashed and.

Yeah. Confused.

I just want people to recognize that I have a voice. Yeah, it got messed up. Yeah, you can say I did it to myself. But, I didn't do anything different from anyone else at that marble-gilded school that needs more practice rooms. I practiced. Sue me.

I have a performance degree. With high distinction. From the Eastman School of Music. It's a piece of paper hanging on my wall. I look at it and wonder sometimes.

Why does that piece of paper matter so much. How can it matter so much and yet so little all at once?

I told a student the other day that I would trade in that piece of paper to get my voice back.


Why do I care about my voice? Isn't it His voice I should be thinking of?

Anointed to teach? That's what someone called me this week. I don't feel capable. I don't trust myself with the precious ones who sit with me every week and try to understand music.

Squeaks. So. Many. Squeaks.

I made a lot of those too. And *people* let me know that this was unacceptable.

I listen to somanysqueakseveryday and pray for patience. Create in me a new heart, Oh God. Renew a steadfast spirit within me.

No one claps for me anymore.

Maybe, just maybe, I can finally get past this craziness that is my need for approval. Maybe, just maybe, I can finally tell God that He really can have it all.

Love them. Love those little musicians. "Let the little children come unto me," said a humble Saviour.

What is wrong with my heart? It is so... confused?



Oh Lord, love them through me despite me.

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