|The world hath gone strange indeed.|
but, it wasn't me that had to break a sweat. That fell to Li-Li.
Good thing I did that. We barely had a lull in our pre-wedding music set as the church quickly filled. Some 200 guests were invited and by the time 5:30 rolled around, we had a full house.
Then Why the Shakes, Mister Guru?
Though I preach meditation, preparation and relaxation, still nerves can still upset balance. It's laughable because I can watch my right hand become off-balance because of the forearm's creeping tension and yet I remain objective in the process. It's kind of like watching the wheels fall off your car in slow motion, but you feel no sense of crashing. You are watching all this with a frustrated resignation. This is something that has manifested itself with greater magnitude over the years or maybe it's just that I have become far more aware of the issue. Regardless, it comes and goes.
What helped is that the combination of my amp behind me and the house system really made us sound full and a great tone. There is something almost transcendental about getting the right sound out of electronic equipment. If your sound sucks, it can throw your whole game off. Nothing makes you happy.
When I play weddings, I am all about doing a good job, but they all have become a blur to me. All the same players again and again: the rowdy friends of the groom, the impossibly manicured bridesmaids, the nervous mom and dad, the groom is usually a nice guy and the bride may or not have even noticed us at all. It's like a repeating television episode only with ever so slight variations. It's a fog with a nice paycheck at the end.
As we headed home, I could tell a great weight was lifted from Li-Li's shoulders. She was a wreck from stressing and now it was all behind her. I'm sure she crashed both physically and emotionally after the gig. Hell, I was feeling a bit worn myself. Call it age. All those seemingly perfect young people can wear an old curmudgeon's self-esteem down. You can call it self-pity, but wait until you get there and see how the ride feels to you.
Old T.S. was right. The world is indeed a stranger place as we age. Ironically, I feel that I have firmly established my place in it, but yet there are times I feel estranged from it. It is both familiar and empty, rich and flavorless, filled with divine mystery and the dulled primal impulses of the terminally thoughtless and ignorant. In short, it's always been the same; only our perception of it changes.
Gee...I ought to play weddings more often.