Put out to pasture

I always knew this day would come. I've been dreading it for a long time, and even wrote about it here four years ago. I am still a musician, nothing can change that. But an aging body will eventually betray you.

I'm still processing the last three months--trying to maintain my dignity, self-confidence, and at the same time, keep my eyes and ears open for the next creative door to open.

Can I tell you how much I hate auditions? I've done scores of them. Not counting nine years of multiple juries, semester after semester, instrument after instrument, voice. There is nothing as nerve-wracking as going in front of a group of hyper-judgmental people all by yourself. To me, that's the definition of fear.

Not to be confused with performing. There is a huge difference. When performing, you're in flow. You are channeling the music to your audience, most of whom want to hear it. In a jury or audition, you are in wicked competition for grades, chairs, entry, with hordes of other musicians.

I'm more prone to nerves, or stage-fright when that "business" side of music shows up. I fully realize that it's necessary, and I have no excuses for blowing it. I can even acknowledge that any musical group that's worth its salt deserves to have the best voices/players they can get. It furthers classical music in general, and that's a very, very good thing.

It still hurts, right down into my soul. I know the music, I hear it, but my voice is no longer as supple, as fluid as it once was. Allergies and asthma cut down on my lung capacity, and I'm not able to get those long, long phrases out. I won't quit singing altogether, I still get paying gigs and invitations for various concerts. Just won't be singing with my long-time group.

I'm beginning a new six-month Pathfinder project, which will be a very welcome creative endeavor. I have a Web site on order and need to spend time figuring out what I want to do with it. I have many new friends, writing buddies, and supporters from the World Changing Writing Workshop, and I'm still involved with 52 Weeks to Awesome. Lots of writing to keep me occupied. And certainly an amazing, supportive family.

At the end of this month I will have been retired for one year. I made it. Just barely, but I made it.


Karen said...

It seems to me that you're not being "put out to pasture", you're finding a new pasture in which to use a new voice. As one of your new friends from wcww, I can't wait to hear what the new space brings. But hugs, 'cause changing pasture isn't always what we think we want to do and I know that can be hard.

Ellie Di said...

(I'm sorry it took me so long to get to this. You'd be appalled at the backup in my Reader.)

I so understand the fear and pain associated with being rejected for something you love and have been good at for a long time. What I learned from that is to look at it as the universe letting me know that it's time to find something better to do. So I'm with Karen on this - you're finding new pastures! Exciting ones! With less poop in them (I hope)!

kokopelliwoman said...

Super sweet, Karen and Ellie Di! I love my new writing friends! Thanks for the encouragement. {{hugs}}