Bach is kind of like getting a massage for your soul. Listening to his music gives you the kind of satisfaction that comes after you've cleaned the messiest house and everything is now beautifully organized. It's like in some movies when the genius can make sense of all the mathematical codes that are flashing across the screen and his eyes are moving rapidly and you can tell he is organizing all those numbers into things that make sense in his head. Except instead of numbers you have notes. And they've already been sorted out into an incredible order, a perfect sound puzzle. Singing Bach is a different story: It requires every ounce of your focus, anticipation, and physical presence to do it well. It's some of the hardest music you'll ever sing or play! After you've learned it well, and after you've performed it, you still feel an immense sense of satisfaction, but mostly you're just exhausted.
I was privileged to sing in a Bach concert last weekend, and while enjoying an orchestral piece on the program, my mind wandered to the usual thoughts that consume every moment of every day. Only this time my thoughts were having a more light-hearted exchange with each other. Casually noting the similarities between the pursuit of success in singing and the pursuit of fertility, without disdain. Just acknowledging them.
In no special order....
1) You think about [singing/infertility] ALL the time.
2) You feel primed to be a raging success as a [singer/mother] but forces beyond your control prevent you from getting there.
3)You live in a constant state of disappointment in [not getting the part/not being pregnant AGAIN]
4) [Singing/infertility] are EXPENSIVE. I can't believe I pay [$70 for a voice lesson/$600 for an ultrasound.]
5) Failure causes you to question who you are as a human and how you fit into the universe.
WHY AM I HEEEEEEEEEEEEERE?????!!!
6) It seems like everyone around you is [getting the parts/getting pregnant.]
7) You have to pretend to be happy for people who [get the part/get pregnant] when really you hate them out of jealousy.
8) You have to unfollow 83% of your friends on Facebook because they are all [bragging about their gigs/posting pictures of ultrasounds and babies.]
9) The difficulty you experience threatens to suck all of the joy out of [singing/having children]
10) You downright hate yourself every time you [don't get the part/aren't pregnant again.]
At the end of my thought process, I realized singing is really about giving. So is bringing life into the world. It's not about getting [the part or the fame/the kid]. And the strange thing is, despite that, I do get so much out of giving that part of myself. To be a living part of music is one of my greatest joys in life. I'm grateful for that joy and outlet. I don't know where I'd be in all this mess if I didn't have it- despite the failures and shortcomings. So with gratitude in my heart, I made my next entrance with an even bigger smile on my face. (Though I can't promise to do the same during my next pelvic exam!)