Thursday, June 24, 2010

Just Thinking About It

Everything must start with a thought, no matter how tiny or how large, just a thought. That's where I am right now. The thought is there, kind of small in this case, like a little seed. And like a seed it could grow, or it could not, only time will tell.

So for now, I'm just thinking about it.

"What," you might ask, "is it?"

Well, I hesitate to put it into words, because then it becomes a "thing" hanging out there waiting for me to actually do something. Not just think about it, do it. That's still a bit scary to me right now.

But I'm going to bite the bullet (otherwise this would be kind of a pointless post, wouldn’t it). Don't laugh, it may not seem all that big a thing to you.

I've actually been contemplating pulling my clarinet out again and playing. The last time I played was in December of 2008. This has been the longest break I've ever had in over 20 years of playing.

On the one hand, I can't believe it's been that long! On the other, I haven't missed it as much as you would think. The last time I played was for an (almost) all Wagner concert that December. I hated that concert!! Every. bit. of. it. I also had a built in break right after the concert. I had a professional conference to attend in February of 2009 that was going to conflict with the next scheduled concert. So I was already going to be taking a temporary break from playing with that group and was supposed to return in March. (I also hadn't played at church in a long time and wasn't expecting to get called for anything.)

But things changed. In a big way!

Just about a month after that dreadful concert was when Zachary died. After that I couldn't even fathom picking up my horn and trying to play something. I knew even an Irish jig would sound like a dirge coming from me; or that a sad piece might cause me to break down in tears. March came and I decided not to return to the band and not to play the summer series of concerts. Several months later, fall approached and I again decided not to play. Part of that was now fear; fear that I would sound horrible, fear that I wouldn't be able to play more than 10 minutes without my face falling off, fear that I might have “lost” something that no amount of practice could get back, and fear that every reed I owned would be warped and useless. (Okay, so that last one is easily fixed, but rational thought is not always my forte.)

I also had a diversion. My husband had wanted to do a Thursday night Bible Study that was starting that fall. So I joined him, thus creating a Thursday night conflict, the same night the band rehearses. The diversion was a good one. It was nice to do something different, especially one where I learned something! It was a good experience, but we’re also not planning on doing it again this coming year.

So instead this thought is creeping into my head now. And then I ran into some fellow musicians the other day and they got me thinking about it again. Those darn church music people!!

I had a day off this week and swung by my church to drop off an envelope we had forgotten to bring on Sunday. Our music director and assistant director were standing outside the office and when I came back out we started chatting. The director wanted to know when I was going to play with them again, if I was interested in working up a recital sometime (yeah, right!), and the assistant director was talking about arranging a part for me to some piece they had. It was a little too much to think about.

But it’s quite possible that seed in my head grew just a bit more. Just a bit.

I know if I started again I would need a lot of practice before I play in front of anyone. I’m sure it won’t be pretty. I’ll have to buy my husband some ear plugs. It has been eighteen months, afterall.

I do find it interesting that after losing one baby I couldn’t go back to playing. Now, just after losing another, I’m actually thinking about it. I haven’t quite figured out what’s wrong with me. That’s a whole other thought process I’m in no position to try to figure out yet. I’m open to outside diagnoses if you have one! :)

So I’m thinking about it. Just thinking about it. Maybe I’ll even retrieve the case from the guest room closet and put it out in a visible place. Only time will tell.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Why would you think something is wrong with you? When you're in the habit of doing (or not doing) something, it can take a big push to overcome the inertia and change that habit.

  3. Sounds good... baby steps! I don't have an explanation for why the seed has started growing now, but maybe you can nurture it to grow a little more. (I like putting the case out where you can see it!) Music is such a gift. All in God's time...

    PS: that was me who deleted the comment, I changed the wording a little :)

  4. Ben: The reference to thinking something was wrong with me had to do with the contrast between my feelings on playing after the death of one child and my seeming willingness, potentially, of playing now after the death of another child. Kind of a major contrast, and I find it surprising.

    Thanks, Lynn. Baby steps indeed. For now it's just a thought.

  5. There is nothing wrong with you for this change of heart. After the first, you had been playing recently and it was something you enjoyed. When things are taken from us, we sometimes pull away from other things as well. While after the second loss, you may now be searching for that thing that made you click and have passion. We seek out those things that make us happy and provide us comfort.

    There is definitely nothing wrong with you. Though the losses are similar you are in a different frame of mind and different point in your life. There are many factors that make us act and react the way we do. We do not react similarly ever time a seemingly similar situation happens because deep down it is a very different situation. We have grown, developed, and learned new things from the last. We have had new and different experiences in life from various directions. All of the things that happen in life send us in different directions with different reactions.

    God Bless!

  6. Thanks for the comment Robin. Actually, I stopped playing after the second loss, not the first. And these thoughts came to me after the third loss. Regardless, I realize there is nothing wrong with me. I kind of said that in a retorical fashion. I'm going to have to be more careful in how I say things! :) Everyone took it way more seriously than I really meant it. Still haven't gotten around to bringing the clarinet out yet, but it has been on my mind. One day.