Friday, June 3, 2011
I had to email my new Irish fiddle teacher last week that I’d be traveling with a salmon and would need refrigeration during my lesson. This would go one of two ways: either she’d chuckle and get a glimpse of the goofy person she’d be instructing, or she’d grimace and dread meeting me. Fortunately, it was the former. What a likable young woman, with a big heart and an adequate fridge!
A very talented teacher also. That could also have gone one of two ways: “Here is my agenda for my students, like it or not”…. or, “What would you like to learn and how can I facilitate that?” I was a little nervous to begin with. I told her I knew my vibrato needed some polish. Not to worry, she said. We don’t use vibrato in Irish fiddling. Really? Wonderful. Then I played a tune for her. When I finished I mentioned that my bow seemed to always be going in the wrong direction, like old people driving in Florida. Not to worry, she said. We don’t care about bow direction in Irish fiddling. Really? This lesson was getting better and better. I left with dozens of tunes to work on this summer, downloaded to my itunes and ready to go.
It is another big milestone for me to regain my passion for playing music. My friend, Debby, asked in her blog this week, “Where do you look for God?” I have always found Him in playing my songs. Since I was nine years old and ordered my first guitar from the Sears catalog, I have found both sanctuary and great joy in playing music. A few years ago I expanded to fiddle playing (my family was incredibly patient, even as I heard repeatedly, “Mom, stop that noise in there!).
Music has been my escape pod when I felt my starship was off course or about to explode. It hurled me safely through my sometimes chaotic universe. And I've played songs for Jesus when I couldn't think of anything else to offer (are you hearing pa-rum-pa-pumpum in your head?). It has always drawn me close and given me peace. And it’s been just plain fun!
Three years ago, the music left me. I still practiced, and even performed. I led worship in church and became the fiddler for The Twang Gang, which was actually a dream come true, to play fiddle in a band. But the joy of it kept eluding me. It felt confined, like I was playing in a closet.
That’s finally changing. God is stilling me, forcing me to quiet myself, listen to His music and savor the rhythms He plays for me. I’ve discovered He has a pretty good ear. And the quieter I've gotten, the busier I've become. Doing things like…….practicing fiddle for hours at a time.
Gotta run now. I’m expected at 1:30 at the Goozmer’s for fresh beaver. I am NOT kidding you!