It's not easy to be 25 years old and the slowest student in class! Unfortunately, that's a place I find myself in at my weekly guitar class. When a sudden urge to pick up the guitar overcame me at a late age, I did not expect to be a Mark Knopfler within the first few weeks. Yet I hadn't set my aims so low as to find after 3-4 weeks that a jarring octave was all I could muster out of my supposed future passion. Nonetheless, being as thick skinned as a rhino does have its advantages and I struggle on.
This week, in front of my guitar teacher I managed to undo all of my hard practice from the past 7 days. In a freak show of uncoordinated hand movements, I managed to convey an impression of not having practiced for a week or so while the reality was that I had doubled my practice times. Ah, what would life be without bitter days like this! We all need days when we can look back and say "Well, at least I am better off than that day!"
So in the process of getting a verbal roasting from my normally tolerant teacher, as some sort of nonsensical defense I blurted out "But I play way better than this when I sit and play alone at home. All this attention is playing havoc with my practiced notes!" which prompted an even sharper response from my teacher.
Of course, what he said was hard to withstand especially with the sniggers of my more guitar-capable classmates but it was very much the truth. My teacher said something to the effect of "That's the silliest thing I've ever heard in my life. Playing alone? What purpose does that serve? An artist, from the smallest to the greatest must always play/draw/paint/write for an audience. Art is nothing if not shared and appreciated. Only then can you grow and only then can you claim that you love your art form. Learn your art with your heart but only because you want to exhibit it to the world when you are ready. Would Pablo Picasso have been such a great name if he hadn't put his paintings on display or for sale, and just hung them up in his bathroom?"
His scalding advice took me back to the very first post I posted on this blog and a statement/request which I had made without having too much conviction in what I was stating (http://virtual-inksanity.blogspot.com/2007/06/third-time-lucky-maybe.html). This is no secret diary, this is a journal. The world is a cruel judge sometimes really unfair on something you put your heart and soul into, yet all such content must be put out there, to be hoisted to the heavens or to be mowed down into the dirt!