Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Brahms, take two. It's a wrap.

What a difference "writing it out" makes for me. "Out" like getting emotions out. Like physically getting it out of my body. Maybe it took me *all night* on Saturday night to write that entry, but without it I'd not be healed from the experience.

So healed that I could go back this evening and enjoy another Brahms concert! The orchestra is doing a Brahms-a-thon (they call it a festival) all week. I *loved* it this evening. The music (amongst other pieces, the first symphony, which is *so* juicy) filled me to the inside of my bones. Yes, my bones hurt, no doubt about that, but I meditated more on the music and was able to overcome to a certain extent.

What made it so validating was seeing colleagues after the concert who were so happy to see me! They said they want to see me playing again on stage with them. They told me I was missed. Especially my previous partner, who continues to say each time we see each other to call him when I start playing again.

They were all going out to dinner after the concert (11:30pm), and invited me to come, which I thought was so nice! I didn't go, but getting the invite made me feel good, and that I can still be part of them, even without being an active player.

I want to (be an active player... not go out to the restaurant...). I so want to. I know I don't have to say it any more. I think the topic is clear by now. Just that this time, it's without tears. It's with peace in my soul. Yah.

Here is one last picture I came across, and I thought it'd be a closing image for this subject... for now. In reality, this subject will never close for me, whatever the future brings.

Me and my mom, circa 1983. Mom, you look so good! Thank you for all the support, all those years. I know now. I know,
I felt so good today that I wrote for my book, also. I will reveal the title soon, but I'm not ready yet.

As for my decision to start the process to get my hips fixed, Robert called Ichilov for me. They will get back to me; seems that my case really fell between the cracks. We'll jump-start that again.
I also decided to go for a consult with another hip specialist who I have heard of, highly recommended. He takes calls between 4-6, so I hope tomorrow I will remember to call at that time (set my alarm).

Gonna get my hips fixed (a year? Two?)
Gonna write my book
Gonna do what I love... music. May go back to being a doula as well, but not sure. At this point, I am aiming to pick up my horn again.

I quit playing once, in Boston, for two years, after I had already received my bachelor of Music (initials: "BM" ... :))  from Boston University. I had a teacher who was extremely discouraging to me ("maybe you should learn the real-estate business, Sarah, you'd have more luck..."), and I let him get the best of me. I decided to quit. After two years, I had a sudden epiphany that waitressing and bar-tending was *not* what Hashem wants me to do with my life. He gave me the talent of playing horn. So I said to myself, do it, Sarah. Now. Stop messing around, wasting the talent Hashem gave you. You have it, use it. It was as simple as that. (I wasn't even religious at the time, but I had it in my soul).

That very day, the epiphany day, I picked up my horn, dusted off the case, oiled up the valves which were completely stuck, and played. And played and played. I played all the stuff I loved. No warm-up, no scales and exercises, just going for it. Besides waking up the next day with swollen face muscles, I was energized to "go for it". I looked for ads for horn jobs. I decided also that I *will* go back to school, to get my feet back in the music world, and study more. I got the Disney job two weeks later, and acceptance into the conservatory for my master's.

Sounds like a charmed life when I write it that way. It was anything *but*. I worked my tush off for everything that came my way. Just like now, when I sometimes write deep into the night (morning hours, sometimes), I also practiced that way. I had a special practice mute that made it so only I could hear my playing. Everything I got, I worked for. I'm not one of those people who have it all naturally and easily to win auditions.

Anyway, maybe next time I will tell you the story of how I got to Israel. It was PURELY the hand of God pushing me (pulling? No, it is pushing.) to move here. It is an awesome story. For another time. I am *going to sleep now*. How's that for a novel idea?

Thank you all for your amazing supportive responses to my last blog. *You* help me heal. I can "write it out" of me, but without you, the healing doesn't take shape. It is the "tikun" (fixing, of a certain holy sort) of helping each other, of getting together when someone is in need... *that* will save the planet. Of that, I am sure.

20 comments :

  1. I wonder, as you wander through your grief of losing your musical life, why you stopped playing to become a doula? You may have stated this before you had NF but I don't remember why.

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    1. Yes, Sandra, I had handed in my resignation to the orchestra *2 weeks* before I got sick. That is a whole other story, but at the time, my doula practice was bursting at the seams, and I was burned out in the orchestra from playing the same repertoire year after year, never branching out to the music I yearned to play. (Brahms being only one example of what would have kept me there). The musical director (conductor) was making the job insanely boring, too say it bluntly. Add that to the fact that I was juggling being a doula as well, with all-night births, showing up for rehearsal the next morning with bloodshot eyes, a birth-high (with her oxytocin split between the two of us), and sitting down to play music I felt "blah" about. Add that to the fact that it was incredibly hard to try to juggle those particular two demanding careers. I have stories about having a laboring mother call me during intermission of a concert, about showing up to births in black concert clothes and my horn on my back, racing to get to a Saturday night concert after an all-day Saturday birth, having Robert hand me off my clothes and horn as I passed by our house hoping to make before the tuning note that begins the concert, and having them hold starting the concert for me for 5 minutes while I got ready (yah, that endeared me to my boss.....)

      So, after 25 years of being a horn player, burn-out was not the way to see it through. I had a new career which I loved.
      For a long time after I got sick, I didn't miss playing at all. Also, with the same music director at the helm, I was happy to be gone. A few years later, a tiny bit of 'missing it' started to creep into me, but I'd always say "I don't want to play in the same orchestra, but I do miss playing good music". Well, they finally got rid of the boring, monotonous conductor, and with the new guy, all of a sudden, good music is coming out of the woodwork. That, together with my small feeling of missing playing staring to really take root, I started to feel it much more intensely. I think that was about a year or a year and a half ago. Some time after I healed from my most recent surgery. So with the new music director, at the same time as my intense missing playing is taking a strong hold inside me, it is the formula for grief. Interesting to me that I don't really miss doula-ing, but I think that's because it is a second career, not as "in my bones" as the music is.

      Sandra- you made me write a whole new blog post. Pretty sneaky. Either that, or I just like tootin' my own horn. ;-)

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  2. You sound so good! כן ירבו!!
    Dena

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  3. Brahms is magnificent! I envy you for being moved by his music.

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    1. Aviram- do I take that to mean you are not moved by Brahms? You have played the horn parts just as I have, in the same school!

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    2. I am very much moved by Brahms's music. I envy you for going to the concert!

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    3. Oh! I get it. The "envy you" part was out of place. I get it now. You wrote like an Israeli. :)

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    1. Ummmmm..... huh? Explain, if you would....

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    2. I think Brahms was is one of the most consistently perfect composers. With Beethoven, you can argue about the orchestration, with Mozart about the conception. But not with Brahms.

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    3. Interesting. How about Bach for perfection in composition? I am not a huge Bach fan, but just going on your train of thought here.

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    4. Bach is in his own category. He was so far beyond his own time, at times avant garde and experimental. But yes, there is perfection in Bach.

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    5. The first time I heard the Bach cello suites, I honestly felt like I was being introduced to the heartbeat of the universe. It was awesome, in every sense of the word. Then I took it upon myself to play those suites on horn. That was also awesome!

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  5. You still "work your t... off" with everything you do! Keep that determination and perseverance and BE"H you achieve what you set your mind up to achieving! You are in my prayers.

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  6. I hope you can go back and do all these things that make you so happy . wishing you a complete refua.

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  7. In past years, I loved hearing you play the horn, and I would love to again. I can't wait to see your book.

    In the meantime - keep doing what you are doing. Getting stronger on the inside, getting the necessary help to get stronger on the outside, and keep on writing. You are an amazing woman!

    Me

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    1. Thank you again, anonymous 'me'. I don't know where you heard me play, because of your anonymous status, but I am grateful for your lovely support! Thank you.

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  8. So, I'm a little musically challenged, but I am so glad to hear that the music filled you to the brim. I was just reminded of watching my grandfather at a concert we took him to at the Kennedy Center many, many years ago. He closed his eyes, put his head back. "Zaida," I asked, "are you sleeping?" "No," he told me, "this is how I listen to the music." He also pointed out that the sound of applause is like fat frying in a pan. But I digress. Yes to life! You are such a hip-py chick.

    Love, Miriam

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