For the last week or so my quiet moments have been accompanied by an unwanted guest: ringing in my ears. This sound is easily overwhelmed by music or conversation so it hasn’t inhibited any activities, but when the environment gets quiet, the ringing becomes obnoxious.
Lost in my thoughts, the ringing was quite pronounced on the ride home from Burlington tonight following the first performance of Don Jamison’s Raine Songs. The performance received a standing ovation, which is a tribute to the integrity, intensity, and craftsmanship of Don’s piece, to fine performances by soprano Mary Bonhag and the string players and, not incidentally, to really committed singing by the Onion River Chorus, for whom the music was both deeply challenging and deeply rewarding. I was really happy for Don and all the performers that the audience reaction was so strong.
But the ringing in my ears is obnoxious. I had many friends onstage with me at the concert, yet I felt isolated, absorbed in trying to “manage the performance.” It feels, psychologically, as if the ringing in my ears is from metaphorically living in too small a room, where the sound of my brain reverberates and is amplified by hard bare walls.
I need to live in a bigger “head space,” in the world instead of in a small room. Tomorrow my goal is to share, rather than manage the performance.
I hope the ringing will stop.