It’s been nearly two weeks since I’ve performed and that feels like an eternity.
To be fair, the longest period I’ve gone without a concert was 3 1/2 weeks last August (which felt really glorious then!), but somehow it feels different now. Not working for long periods of time makes me feel untethered.
I think that as musicians, much more that those in other professions, our identity becomes wrapped up in what we do. We self-identify as musicians, as if it were a culture, or a tribe. So when I’m not doing what I usually do – making music in front of a lot of people – that taut, intimate connection between what I do and who I am starts to loosen, unravel.
It’s the kind of feeling that could precipitate an existential crisis, and that’s not something I need on my plate right now. But it’s absolutely challenging to sit with the thought that the way I define my place in the world is by the connections to people I create through music. If I’m not actively forging those connections, what’s my purpose, and who am I?
I know that’s a huge questions and one that doesn’t lend itself to a pat answer. And in the past, that fact in itself would have discouraged me from continuing to explore both the feeling and the question. But now I find myself with time on my hands, with no ensemble and no audience, just my own determination to find a way to determine myself. So many of us stuck in our homes right now are grasping for some silver lining to the dark cloud of our situation, and perhaps this is mine – a pause, a moment to focus on being in a life that is all about doing.
How do you separate your doing and being?
My task for the day: take stock of everything in my pantry. My patient husband found an app for that. It took all morning but…done!