Yesterday evening I played my first public recital since (*checks diary*) 14th March, so six or so months ago. I may have taken a similar break in that period when I left school and disappeared around Europe for half a year, but since then nothing has come remotely close to such a gap.
Thankfully the fingers still work, the brain is still connected to them, and the result of hooking the two together is close to my intention. The audience was outside, socially distanced and sanitised, and the keyboard was a digital affair linked up to the village hall’s amplification system, but the result was well worth the effort, and it felt good to be back.
I had wondered if I would feel more emotional about it all, feel as if it was the release of months of pent up energy, but, while there were moments of reflection in there, I had too much to deal with to allow myself to wallow. Besides, I am one of those lucky musicians who has been able to get on with things a little at home during 2020.
What emotion there was yesterday came after watching the highlights of the Italian Grand Prix, the details of which I had avoided all day, wisely as it turned out, and the result of which was as totally unexpected as it was joyous. Having seen the usual Mercedes scamper off into the distance I settled down for another bout of Hamildomination before a sequence of events unfolded that threw the result up in the air and let it fall anywhere it happened to land.
It almost did not matter that both Ferraris were the first cars out of the race, after a shocker even worse than their utter shocker of the previous weekend (which had been considered a low point but which, in retrospect, is now an aspirational fantasy). Instead it served as a lesson in never giving up and always keeping going, because you never really know when things might suddenly come together.