World Enough and Time: My Telemann Performance

For Musical Monday this week, I am reblogging a post about my Telemann viola concerto solo, which took place approximately one year ago this week. This performance was a big step for me, someone who suffered from extreme performance anxiety throughout my teens and twenties.

I look at kids now, some of my students even, who overcome something like that at much earlier ages, or who were more fearless to start with. Sometimes I grieve for all the time I “wasted.” And yet, in another way I feel that the timing was exactly right. Our culture reveres youth, but it’s hard to be a young adult, even harder to be a teenager. It is much better to spend middle age feeling like the best years are still coming, rather than behind.

A Thousand Finds

It’s a bright, cool California day heralding the coming of summer, and I am free until the evening. I slept well overnight, in spite of reading bad news about someone I knew a lifetime ago. I earned my certificate for completing the 100-day practice challenge last week. Regretful emails trickle in: car trouble, a grandson’s recital, an urgent sample to be analyzed, an unexpectedly long appointment. But my red sparkly Bolero jacket arrived from Jet unexpectedly early. And it fits!

YosemiteVDC The New World: Yosemite Valley

Once, before a different performance, I dreamed of breaking my bow, borrowing a replacement, and running endlessly over hills and valleys that opened up in between me and the concert venue as the bow morphed into an archery weapon in my hand. But all these current ups and downs . . . I just watch them from a comfortable distance. The new black dress materialized; the…

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6 thoughts on “World Enough and Time: My Telemann Performance”

  1. I don’t think anything in life is ever wasted if we learn something from it, even it, or especially if that is something about ourselves. There is all this young and unafraid stuff but I sometimes think that relates to failure because we have never known it as we come to know it. However solo, lead performing requires so much more than fearlessness . Your performance was wonderful.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words! And that’s an interesting take on the fearlessness of youth. I was just never fearless, even or perhaps especially when I was young. I was shy and introverted and had a lot of social anxiety. (I’ve gotten over some of it, but certainly not all.) Maybe youthful fearlessness is applicable to the most visible segment of the population, but there is a lot more diversity than we give young people credit for. I’ve learned much from reading Susan Cain’s book, “Quiet,” about introversion. There is great value in quietly observing, thinking, and getting the lay of the land before leaping right in. Especially for writers!

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      1. Indeed there is diversity and I think it’s really hard going for shy young people because, yes, they are the ones who are not the most visible but they are having to get by in a world where many people won’t admit to that or make it look so easy or haven’t learned what it is to fail.
        All stages of life have their own difficulties. I think you were brave to find your way through that and now–where you are now– to have been able to get up there and perform so beautifully. Being shy when you were younger would have made that absolute torture. It’s one thing to sit in the orchestra, or the band where you can blame someone else if there’s a mistake…lol.. But not when it is you out there. But, maybe it took you a while to do this but you did That is what counts.

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  2. I do agree – contentment is the middle year’s is a gift – and it is priceless – also – when we celebrate our wiring and remember we are not robots – it helps me celebrate processes of growth – and I looked at some of the early 90s as wasted years because I had to “find myself” – but now I see they were soil fertilizing for the growth I have now –
    Great post and love the photo of you in action – beautiful dress

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi – I actually did not say “writing” – I said wire and the way we are genetically wired ((but I agree with what you said about writing – so true -))
        But I was more referring to really celebrating our make-up and instead of always looking out to be this way or that way – we focus on what is really good and hone in. Of course we grow and stretch ourselves – and as a performing musician I can see the goals there – and also as humans we like to Connect – we need to 😉
        But too often we only see growth areas and not what was super great – ya know ?

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