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Year Two, Day 22: Musical Goals

So nice to have a total day off.

My only solid plan was to hit the used book store. Got a huge bag of books for under $10.00. I am a very relaxed and happy camper.

The streets of SE Portland were practically deserted today. Not only was it Memorial Day, but the weather was gorgeous. My whole neighborhood smelled like barbecued chicken.

I hopped on the bus. A very empty bus. The driver struck up a conversation with me. He told me to expect a long bus ride. He was ahead of schedule. He had to wait idly every  few stops so he didn't throw off his schedule. He asked me where I was heading. I excitedly told him about the big sale at the bookstore.

He looked up at me and said,"You know what the last book I read was? Jonathon Livingston Seagull. That was in the 70's". He smiled at me. He put a Triscuit in his mouth. I told him I read that book too when I was a teenager and full of angst.

"I read it several times. It gave me peace",  I told him.

I was about to suggest a few books for him to read, but my stop came up. I thanked him and hopped off the bus. He looked like he was about my age. It was nice to shoot the breeze with a friendly person, but I was stunned. 40 years, give or take a few without reading a book? I hope I didn't stare at him with my mouth wide open.

I was so happy to walk into the bookstore. I love the feeling of possibility. And the smell. Bookstores have this smell. A mixture of imagination, excitement, facts and possibility. Old books also carry a hint of dust and mold. Why am I enticed by this? Perhaps it gives me a feeling of nostalgia. Some of the happiest times in my life have been in a bookstore, in a library, underneath a tree with a good book in hand.

Anyway, I grabbed a basket and got lost in bliss for the next hour or so.

 I was sitting on the floor, between the stacks when my cell phone rang.

It was the director of the community choir I so pomposly interviewed with two weeks ago. He told me that I had been his top choice, but the committee had chosen two other candidates for the next level of auditions. Unfortunately, one of the candidates dropped out. He was wondering if I was still interested in the position.

I was a little stunned. I told him I was surrounded by books, and a bit distracted. I needed time to think. Knowing the director's first choice was me, changed my perspective. I liked working with him. I subbed for their accompanist last year. I found him easy and pleasant to work with. I regret that I didn't say this at the interview. Too busy talking about the wonders of me, I guess. I also wanted to be authentic and not appear to be brown nosing. (What a horrible expression that is.)

But alas, they wanted me to do another audition with the choir the same day I have students in Salem. I cancelled my day down there for the interview two weeks ago. It wasn't worth it cancelling students, especially really motivated students for an audition that wasn't a sure thing.

I asked if I could audition with them the next rehearsal. But it wouldn't work for them. I thanked him but said I couldn't cancel students. So he asked if I would be back up. I told him I would like that. Good solution. I can live with this.

I am still feeling I need to focus more on teaching, less on performing. I feel good about this decision. Especially since I was first choice!

But I did recall a thought provoking question I was asked at the interview. It was concerning my "future musical goals". I initially found the question amusing. "I'm going to be 55 soon," I laughed. "But I doubt I will ever retire musically. Especially from teaching. I imagine I'll be one of those piano teachers who dies at 95, in her chair".

They smiled at me. But then I realized I do have musical goals.
I told them that I had recently made a goal to work on memorization. I explained that sight reading was easy for me. And made me lazy. I had made a goal to memorize one piece a month. One of the ladies asked how that was going for me. Sheepishly I told her it wasn't going.  But tomorrow is a new day.

And now that I have had a weekend of leisure, I am ready to get back to work. On myself. On memorization, and getting more exercise. And maybe laughing more and just enjoying this life of mine that sometimes seems to passing much too quickly.

A work in progress, I am!

Happy Monday!

Happy Memorial Day.

Thank you to all who have served and currently serve our country. God bless you all.


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