Friday, February 6, 2009

French horn

I started thinking about this post because I am in the midst of drafting my "25 Random Things" for Facebook. It has been fun, inspiring, and thought-provoking to read what people have written-- especially people that were once a part of my life, drifted away, and are recently reconnected through social technology. What amazing people my friends are!

The first random thing I thought of writing about is my past as a French hornist. It is a fact that people in my first 20 years knew a lot about. It is something that almost no one from my latest 20 years knows anything about. Playing the French horn was once a major part of my life. I started in the sixth grade and played all the way through college. I played in marching bands (hated that), concert bands at school and in the community (loved that), and in orchestras (those string players were a different breed from us band geeks). I played in woodwind quintets, brass ensembles, and wind ensembles. I played special music at church and accompanied musical productions in "the pit." I practiced regularly at home, and I loved sitting in rehearsals. I even declared myself a music major for about six months before I got swept away by studying religion and theology. How I ended up as an elementary school librarian now is even a mystery to me!

These days, I couldn't play anything without significant re-development of my embouchure (lip muscles) requiring lots of practice time (and you know that I don't need another interest or hobby). My French horn would need major rehabilitation probably costing a few hundred dollars. But, I do keep lugging it from place to place-- Tennessee, Mississippi, Tennessee again, Mississippi again. I'm holding onto it for some reason-- perhaps as a tangible reminder of what was once so central to my life and of all that the endeavor taught me.

Playing the French horn was my creative outlet for a large portion of my life. Now, it is teaching, raising children, and all of the other things this blog is supposed to be about (knitting, sewing, quilting). What is common to all of these activities? Problem solving, making mistakes, trying again, working with others, reflecting, celebrating life by adding something more to it. It is incarnating what is first a thought, a dream, an echo, or an image.

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