Most of this is happening in a week. :| And I've been sick, yikes! Yes, I do feel the stress. A little more openly than I mean to. But I'm grateful, too. That's why I couldn't say no to any offers. It's such a gift to everyone, and not just because I'm some awesome harpist or something.
The gift of time is considerable, but my favorite is when you combine that with music. Really practiced, learned and lovingly performed music. And it's true, everyone loves it.
I know there are a few people out there (I've met the sister of one, but that's as close as I've gotten) who do not like the harp. For whatever reason. But most people love it! They will even sigh when you play your scales and arpeggios. It's almost embarrassing to me--worries me that I'll look like I'm showing off. Which is easy to do with all those heightened reactions. Maybe harpists are lucky that way. They can take the easy track and strum some glissandos (I promise they're EASY) for the finale and take a nice fat check in return.
If that has ever happened to me, it was an accident. I like to put a lot of work into my pieces. TRANSLATED: I will take 6 months to 6 years to learn a piece if that's what it takes. It's somehow worth it. It is possible to reach perfection--in this one instance--so I seek it.
It's exciting to me that I've reached that perfection many times, too. By the way, that's NOT a bragging point; remember how hard I work?
Eg. I love math. Math doesn't love me. I work really, really, really, really, really, really hard on it. Then sometimes I get a 90 for a grade. Brag? No way! If I didn't try too hard and get a 100, yeah, I'd better look out that I don't brag because I'd totally have the rights.
What this all comes down to, though, is that I have a week or two to put these pieces together as close to perfect as I can. *heehhhhh....* Stress! Eep!
But then! Heroically, in steps a favorite mantra: I DON'T DO STRESS. Because I simply choose not to. I don't avoid the situation, but I control my feelings and reactions in it. Remember that one? I forgot it, apparently. Well, it's a timely reminder. For my sake and the family's (as beloved as the harp is, I don't imagine anyone likes to hear the strings get virtually ripped off while I yank out some poor excuse of a song, barely disguising my dissipated patience for clumsy fingers).
Sometimes at concerts I imagine weird things while I wait out the tacet measures.
"What if I barfed into these little holes on the back of my harp? Ew."
"What if I suddenly sent a gliss into this very quiet moment? Yes, Qait, that would be dumb."
"What if I got up and danced? Oh, don't smile. Quick, think of something less ridiculous."
Back to the harp bench. Again. breathe in breathe out breathe in breathe out