Going to the classes at Wizard Academy gave me the courage to push the button today on my latest “Studio Notes.” Sharing my most embarrassing moment with 300-plus people was not easy but you and Roy teach about how much our self-talk matters. I needed to change my self-talk. Turning this embarrassing memory that haunted me into my personal badge of courage has been therapeutic. I hope it encourages someone else.
Most Embarrassing Memory
by: Jan Raven Stitt,
Alaskan Raven Studio’s resident artist
A roar of empty quiet subdued our house. My parents filled the void with music. Contagious rhythms and melodies filled the rooms of our two story brick home. Beethoven, Dvorak and Scott Joplin became frequent guests. I could even hear their strokes of sound from the upper branches of our five-story sycamore tree.
Mom challenged me to learn to play the piano. I grappled with those ivory keys and strove to reach the black ones that always felt a little out of reach. But I practiced. Often.
The day came for my first recital. I heard them call my name summoning me to face the ivory-and-black-striped animal. I felt very small in front of all the staring faces, swallowed hard and began my happy song.
Happy until I hit the wrong key. My world crashed inside me. I tried to start over but panic was steering my ship. My face was a brighter shade of red than a stop sign. I stood up and stumbled back to my seat in the audience wishing I could vanish under the rug. I overheard my teacher grumble “That was the worst case of stage fright I’ve ever seen.”
I tried to bury that memory in a deep let’s-not-talk-about-it-cloud-
I’m grateful for the piano-purge. It makes me fearless in front of a blank canvas. A love of music remains inside me. I beat a rhythm with brushstrokes. Surprises of color and undertones of shadows play my song. Wild jazzy orange brushstrokes begin musical arrangements on canvas.
Surprisingly, my most embarrassing memory has made me stronger.