I screw up fairly regularly, and it happened again today. It’s a hazard that comes along with being kind of good at a lot of things but not really good at anything in particular. I’m often useful and most always dependable but a bit dangerous if a flawless product is needed. I do what I enjoy, even when it’s something simple, because I don’t need perfection and am too busy most of the time to attain perfection. The truth is, I probably need a certain degree of imperfection. All these little “let downs” remind me that very little of anything that goes on is about me.
Recovery is kind of important. I’ve gotten a lot of practice in not falling apart when something goes wrong. Today, I didn’t recover as fast as I would have liked, but I ended fairly well. Endings are important. I often sit in the audience, noticing when something is amiss and finding myself more concerned about how the performer is taking it than the mistake itself. I’m always relieved when I can tell that they are shedding the stress and feeling okay. I don’t really care that they’ve made a mistake, I just don’t want them to be devastated by it. I hope people feel that way when they’re listening to me.
I suppose there will come a time when the stress of doing things and possibly doing them poorly will be more than the pleasure I get from being involved with making music. For now I want to be courageous enough not to quit trying. I want to keep going until I’m all used up and someone boots me off the team. At that point it will be okay. Someone else will need the opportunity. The underlying truth for me is that God, who made music possible, who made me able to hear it, made me able to imagine it performed perfectly even when I can’t accomplish that – He hears it as I imagine it in my heart and we both enjoy it together. With that reality, I don’t even have to be useful. I just have to be. I’m extremely comfortable with that.