Music is not one of my talents. Yes, this might seem odd coming from a guy who has five guitars, but it's largely true: I have very little talent for music. I've got a tin ear, can't read music to save my life, and Deborah has been so baffled by my sense of rhythm over the years that she doesn't even comment on it anymore.
So why am I doing this?
I publicly committed myself to playing an offertory with Paul. Why? Because cello and bass sound so cool together? Yes, but also, because it's the only way I'll get better.
I'm not normally one to sit down and practice every day, just for the sake of practice itself. I need a reason. I am told that mountain climbers will occasionally put themselves into positions where the only way they can go is up. "When the only way you can go is up," I read, "you jolly well go up."
Same deal: I volunteer for public performances precisely because I'm bad at it. It might take me a month, I might have to painstakingly figure out each note, and practice until my fingers bleed, but I will get it. I will play.
And, in the end, play I did.
I forgot to bring the camera to record our final performance together, which in many respects is just as well. The fact that I made it through a difficult piece (well, an easy piece I'd made difficult by trying to play two parts at once!) will have to be the reward — learning, stretching, climbing that mountain, not because it's there, not because I can — but because I can't.