Saturday, December 13, 2008

Back on the Right Side

Way back when, I played in a lot of groups. Jazz bands, orchestras, bands, quintets, etc. More often than not, when I found myself at a concert, I wasn't in the audience. I was the one (or one of the ones) making the music, while everybody else sat and (hopefully) enjoyed. But I knew what side of the fence I was on - the participant side, not the audience side.

Then we left California, and I never really found another group in which to play. Aside from the occasional wedding, my musical talents were given to leading the church in worship. Whenever I found myself at a concert, I was on the other side of the fence, sitting in the audience.

Then we had a kid and moved to California. Still no groups in which to play, plus hardly any time to practice. You can't practice the trumpet when the baby is awake - they need your attention. But you can't practice when the baby is asleep, or they won't be asleep very long.

All these years later, and all these concerts, and always on the outside of the fence. Always in the audience. Always enjoying somebody else's talent. I'd almost forgotten what "that side" felt like.

Until last night. When, about 3 minutes before 7:00, I had the sudden rush of realization that I was back in the orchestra pit. That I wasn't sitting out front, looking into the orchestra - I was on the inside, looking out. When the string section took off I wasn't merely an on-looker, I was a participant. And it was. . .amazing. It felt like coming home again. I had forgotten the rush of being on task, of knowing there's an audience and if you screw up. . .but knowing you won't screw up, and they'll love it, and as the Haydn 101 rolls along you're part of the group making it happen. I felt alive in ways I hadn't for a long, long time. Mostly, it felt right. And I can't wait for the next time around.

And, please don't take this the wrong way, because it's not meant to be boastful, but I'd forgotten how good I actually was at this. That this is what I studied in college, that this was what I'd spent countless hours practicing for - to nail that high G-sharp in the third movement of the 101. To sit snugly below the lead, pulling that harmony in just right. That this isn't just something I kinda sorta know how to do, but it's maybe one of the things I do best. And that's a pretty breathless thought, to rediscover something so powerful and excellent within you.

But don't worry - I'm not quitting my day job to tour with Tower of Power. If I had to guess, all this is only going to strengthen the ministry to which I'm called. For whatever reason, God has seen fit to reopen this door, and I'll gladly walk through to see what he's got in mind.

1 comment:

Kim said...

It's exhilarating, isn't it? Yay you! :)