I teach piano.  It’s one of the things I do.

I recently had a conversation with a parent who is heartbroken because her teenage daughter won’t practice.  She doesn’t have the discipline and her mom is tired of “escorting” her.  

As my conversation with the mother unraveled, I realized her heartbreak wasn’t ultimately about the lack of “piano practice,” nor was this heartbreak singular to her.  This was something much bigger; something much more painful; something afflicting an entire culture.  It took a few layers to get there, but I felt its heart when I noticed tears quietly running down my face.

I was out with some girlfriends the other night, and one of them asked how things were going with my music.  I told her it was up and down, back and forth, somewhat of a roller-coaster ride.  Some days present set-backs, some days are super exciting, but most days, it’s just work.  I shared my internal ponderings on my fear of turning something I love so much into “just work;” and whether the correct reaction is to simply stay distanced and even-keeled through the ups and downs, or to celebrate the ups and try to stay level through the downs.  I openly laughed at the prospect that I might have this kind of emotional control in the first place, but I always love a good self-study.  There must have been something in my passion coupled with my attempted objectivity that struck her because she said, “Ugh, it sounds like a relationship.”  My eyes got big, I let out a huge laugh, and I emphatically confirmed, “It is exACtly like a relationship.” 

Thumbs up:  a hand gesture achieved by a closed fist held with the thumb extended upward. 

 

So, I’m struck recently by the frenetic need to have online “likes” (yes, the omnipresent thumbs up) in order to be considered “valid.”  So much of the reality of this frenzy seems to be either something you gladly do for a friend - whether you like what they do or not - and it makes you sincerely happy to support them; or you reluctantly do for an acquaintance - who’s page/product/offering you could take or leave - because you were invited to do so, and you don’t want to be a heel, or worse, deal with the fear of “bad karma” if you don’t.  It’s a fantastic exchange when you can actually “like” something because you really do, or even better, you’re actually so engaged by something, you completely forget to “like” it.

I've decided to start a blog…my first ever. 

So, true to the part of me that is blithe in spirit, that jumps in when inspired, I wrote what I thought was going to be my “first blog” (yes, I know, wrong terminology) the other day - a comical yet sober commentary on the Facebook “Like” button from the new independent artist’s perspective.  But then, faithful to my judiciousness, which always kicks in after the “spark,” I sent it to a few trusted souls for their discretionary input.  That’s when my expert friend graciously shared blog terminology and protocol with me…

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