Thursday, November 7, 2013

This post will self destruct in 5, 4...

I've taken way bigger risks than posting videos of myself playing the violin...more specifically, playing the violin badly, for instance, flying to Europe alone, moving across country alone, driving hundreds of miles alone to meet, for the first time, a man I hoped to marry.  But, this risk seems just as daunting because of the person for whom I've posted these videos.  

I've always been able to perform - whether acting, singing or playing - better for complete strangers.  For people I know and love, I perform worse because the criticism is worse.  That's why I could blow like a beast as a guest worship leader at a church I had never attended, with the congregation seated only a few feet away, gathered around like children begging for candy.  But at my own church, standing on a stage, with hundreds of familiar eyes watching, I could barely pull off a 30 second solo of one of our most beloved songs.  I was comfortable singing at that lovely Anglican church because I knew I would never see any of those folks again, but folks at my church would have several times during the week to give me the side-eye about Sunday's screw up.

To be fair, I must admit, that has never happened.  Everyone always encouraged and applauded anything I threw out at them (except our worship leader, but that was her job, I guess and my family. I rest my case.). Nevertheless, perception is reality.

Regardless, a risk-taker, I am.  The greater the risk, the greater the reward and I have been rewarded well.  So, I gladly post these crazy videos and hope that any and all who see them will be kind.  If not, at least, putting myself on blast will push me to practice, practice, practice.  No sights set on Carnegie Hall, but I do intend to play better than I ever did before.  Enjoy!

To be viewed from top to bottom.

Monday, November 4, 2013


I am strongly considering taking a Thanksgiving vacation to Annapolis, MD.  I was supposed to be spending the holiday with my...Oh, God, I can't bring myself to say it.  The fifth and twenty fourth letters of the alphabet placed side by side make my stomach queasy.  So, I'll say my former beau.  I was supposed to be spending the holiday with my former beau.  In fact, it was discussing the logistics of our holiday that led to our ultimate - and I do mean ultimate - parting.  My eyes are swollen and burning.  My head and heart ache and I simply do not even want to be with my family, around the table, again, with everyone paired up except me.  In fact, I refuse to do it.  So, since I was going to be gone anyway, might as well just go alone.  

Fail up

These words came to mind when sharing with a friend some of the feelings I have about my recent break up.  I immediately did a google image search because I wanted to blog about this idea with a visual.  The visual I got was unexpected.  It was a photo of Tavis Smiley, my black brain crush, (Steven Mansfield is my white/Cherokee brain crush) on the cover of his book entitled "Fail Up".  Amazon search, followed by reading of chapters 1 and 6, followed by listening to Dr. King's Drum Major sermon, followed by decision.

I've decided that I must act the way that I think vs. the way that I see.  I see things in broad panoramic images, but I break ideas and concepts down to the bottom line very quickly.  When I teach and advise, I'm always telling my student or confidant to take apart ideas in chunks and build from the most basic all the way up, in essence, deconstruct-construct.  I thought I blogged about that concept once before, but am unable to find it.

Nevertheless, knowing that I tend to get bogged down, I must begin to take my own advice and take things a little at a time.  Primarily, I am allowing myself to focus on only two dreams at a time, plan only two days at a time and accomplish a minimum of two tasks laid out for myself on any given day.  For now, 2 is my magic number.  When I master this practice I can and certainly hope to be able to plan months in advance and juggle many things at once, all while moving forward, wiser and better than I was before.

I have learned that failure is absolutely necessary for success.  And I have even begun to believe that no matter how dedicated or driven one is, no matter how much time one has on this earth, we all will leave this earth as failures, having left something undone, undeveloped, incomplete.  Fatalistic?  Kind of, but not quite, because I believe that the predetermined end is ALWAYS good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.  That in and of itself is the core of failing up, I think. You must fail better than the last time, the goal being to maximize the journey, not simply to reach the destination.  For whatever point you reach, if it is higher than the point where you fell, you have succeeded.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Done and DONE

Opposites may attract, but it's hella hard for them to stick.