“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” Vince Lombardi
I wrote about perfection here at Choral Potpourri a few years ago. My opinions are essentially this; while I believe in striving for perfection, I rarely achieve what others might hold up as perfection. I am (mostly) okay with that. It’s exhausting to “chase” the dream and right now, I am tired, oh so tired, but I am a Trooper and carry on.
The last few months have been difficult. With several deaths in my spouse’s family (and me doing the music, along with our organist son and my chamber choir) including one this past Monday morning, it has been emotionally draining. But that’s not all that has me trying to catch up and catch my breath.
Ten days before our concert this past Sunday, one of my chamber choir’s altos (a sweet little lady in her 80s with a beautiful voice) and her Toy Poodle were attacked by a Pit Bull. Her Poodle’s spinal cord was severed and she was bitten and beaten up. She had to put down her severely injured dog, “painted” her face to hide the bruises and sang the concert on Sunday. Carmen* is a Trooper and I admire her spunk. And it’s a lesson to be learned; we do what we have to do, no matter what. With all sorts of distractions, having nothing to do with music, my chamber choir has pulled off another concert, but barely. My singers are family and when one is hurting, we all are. We have our final concert of the season the first weekend in June; some of our emotions are sure to have calmed down by then and we will be as excellent as we usually are.
I have been hanging on through all of this and have been much more distracted than usual. If you read my Blog last week, you know there was a typo in the title, which ChoralNetter Mark Husey kindly pointed out. As I read his comment, I was HORRIFIED I had let it slipped past me. And as I was collating our programs Saturday afternoon, was HORRIFIED again when I noticed I had let a small typo (the word “come” instead of “some”) get past me. Of course, it was too late by then to do anything about it and it has been corrected for our June 3 concert. This has been another lesson to me to focus on the task at hand and not let my emotions get the better of me.
My quest for perfection has been sidetracked this concert cycle and it’s been so frustrating. Don’t get me wrong; the singing is beautiful and everything is fine musically, it’s just not up to our usual standards. We all know it and yet, we are helpless. It wasn’t until I remembered something my Dad used to talk about that I could be at peace with what is going on.
Dad, an Old Vaudevillian, sums it up like this: no one in the audience cares if you broke a nail or your dog died (!) or you’re not feeling it; they’ve paid good money for a show, so give ‘em a show. Give as good as you are able and it should be good enough. But Dad also says sometimes “good enough” IS good enough.