As I sat at the little baby grand piano playing music for cocktails for a wedding reception, I was reminded of the playing experiences of my youth. I made money playing in a wedding band when I was 16-17 years old.
In both cases, I listened and watched people drinking and talking. In both cases, I felt an intimate connection with the music, almost like being alone with it.
I seem to still be dealing with my melancholia/burnout. I was dreading my wedding/reception gig. Today I see the Lessons and Carols service which will my church’s main service this morning as a mountain to climb over, an obstacle to survive.
All of the tasks involved in the wedding, reception and today’s church service are well within my skill level. And I feel reasonably prepared.
But like the wedding and reception yesterday I anticipate living through these experiences in a sort of bubble of awareness that is unshared by most of the participants.
Yesterday I tried to focus on the music itself. This helps. I played a lot of music yesterday: Mozart, Debussy, Handel, Chopin, Haydn and others. The dialog of actually producing sounds that were thought of years ago by other wonderful minds is the sustaining aspect of my life.
But this connection is as fragile as it is rewarding. It sometimes feels like a juggling balancing act.
One assumes of course that even though one feels invisible that somewhere in the noise and distractions there is an ideal listener.
This is a component part of performing.
Sometimes this is more difficult than others. It depends both upon the performer (me) and the listeners. As usual it is in my head where I concentrate trying to make a difference.
I didn’t get a check last night even though the bride indicated in her emails that I would be paid after the reception.
I spoke to a best man who dragged the father of the bride out of the reception. He said that my boss had all of the money. I asked him if he was sure that the fee for my playing the reception was included in the check for the church. He answered yes unconvincingly but what do I expect. People in weddings are having a huge moment and I don’t expect them to really do more than pay me.
But when I got home I found an email waiting for me from my boss for which I was very grateful.
She said that the bridal party had given her a check in which the full amount for my services was included ($350). It’s nice when people are specific. She indicated I could get a check by Tuesday. I can’t seem to train my church into the etiquette of paying musicians after their service. But I trust my boss.
I am working on changing my life style a bit to respond to my doctor’s direction to lose 10 pounds. This mostly involves paying much more attention to meals. I have been cooking low cal dishes for Eileen and me this week using a cool cookbook.
I like the author’s style of combining a love of food with an awareness of the intake of calories and fat even though she doesn’t really count calories herself. Have made some tasty dishes from her cookbook. I checked out another one by her from the library.
So when I came home last night I really wanted a glass of wine (what I really wanted was a martini). I could have had a glass or two and would have if I really wanted it. But I managed to skip the drink and throw together a low calorie salad for my supper (shredded cabbage, fresh chunks of pineapple, diced onion, canned peas, cucumber, with a dash of balsamic vinegar.. it helps to like everything).
As usual when I look closely at my life it is a very good one.