I originally wrote this nearly three months ago, on June 27. I never got around to posting it because I wanted to include a little video blurb and I didn't download that video clip from our old camera and upload it to this post until just tonight. No, I don't have a problem with procrastination. Why do you ask?? ;-)
Yesterday evening, I looked at the mound of peas that needed to be shelled, then thought to myself, "I'm gonna need a tape."
You see, during these summer evenings, when the windows stay open late, and the cool breeze rushes in as it's drawn by the attic fan, and my hands busy themselves with household tasks after the children are tucked in bed, I often reach for an old cassette tape to listen to. Some of them I listen to and then get rid of, part of the endless decluttering project that is a continual part of my life; but some I decide are worthwhile enough to remain in this household and take up a few square inches of space.
The one I listened to last night falls in the latter category. :)
I didn't actually realize what it was when I plucked it out of the dusty cassette case in the garage. All I knew was that it was a mix of some sort that I gave to Jeff in the fall of 1996. I put it in the player, turned it on, sat down with my bowl of peas, and began to listen.
Piano music wafted through the air. Lovely piano music. And I thought, "Is that ME playing??" Then I heard a mistake and realized that it was indeed me. :)
A few of the pieces were from my high school senior recital which I performed in March of 1993. Most of the pieces, however, were from my college years, when I was a music major at Messiah College and spent countless hours in the tiny, unadorned practice rooms in the lower level of Climenhaga music building. Many of the pieces were piano solos, but some of them were me accompanying various ensembles. It was fascinating to not only be reminded of pieces that I had completely forgotten about, but also to hear the changes in my music-making from 1993 until my college senior recital in March of 1997.
While my fingers busied themselves with pea pods, my mind busied itself with a swirl of thoughts. Thoughts like these...
~ I was great once. (Sometimes when I sit down to play a piece for my boys and find my fingers stumbling over themselves, I think with some sadness about how well I used to be able to play and how far I've fallen from that.)
~ I certainly hope that, when I get to heaven, I'll find a grand piano waiting for me--and I'll be given hours and hours to practice and become good again! :)
~ What was the name of that piece anyway? (Those pieces were such a part of my life, I'm sure I never thought I'd be unable to recall their names!)
~ I thought Jeff fell in love with me because of my smile, but maybe it was really because of the way I played Moonlight Sonata. ;-)
~ If that 19- and 20-year-old self could have had a glimpse of my life now, what would be the most surprising thing: that I've been pregnant 7 times, have 5 living kids, and want another one, ;-) that I homeschool them, or that I live in my parents' house? :)
~ Was the audience clapping so loudly because they really thought I did a great job...or because they were just glad that set of 20th century dissonant pieces was over? ;-)
~ Well, that wasn't exactly a flawless performance, but it wasn't too bad, I guess.
~ I remember when that girl criticized my playing in that piece, and the memory of that still stings.
~ I'm so glad I learned how to make mistakes AND KEEP GOING.
~ I'm even more glad that out of all the things I could have devoted my time and energy to during those years of my life, I chose music.
~ I hear these pieces (choral ones, in particular) and immediately begin to WORSHIP.
~ I hear Sera's voice in the choir. I wonder where she is these days. Maybe I can find her on Facebook! :)
~ I played the ORGAN to accompany the choir?? Woah. I had totally forgotten THAT!
~ When Mr. Hartzler asked me to accompany the piece "This Endris Night" for the Junior Choir during my first year at EMHS, I had NO IDEA what a big, glorious door he was opening for me and how much accompanying would mean to me, especially during the next seven years, but even continuing until now!
~ I can't believe my hands did that--moved so fast, expressed such emotion, created such beauty. I just really can't believe it.
And now, here is the short video clip I mentioned earlier. Keep in mind that the audio quality is pretty terrible; it's a camera recording of a cassette tape being played, after all. But it is a snippet from one of the pieces I played during my high school senior recital. Oh, and the picture that's visible there? That's my brother David giving me a bouquet of flowers at the end of that recital. :)
For silly fun, here are two other "Thoughts While..." posts:
~ while mopping my kitchen floor
~ while rehearsing for a Suzuki concert