nerves

It snowed overnight! This is the winter that just will not go away. Two days ago, Nick and I were sitting in garden chairs outside, barefoot in the sun. Today, I have to scrape off the car and wear boots for warmth. Good thing I’ve been grounding myself, or I’m sure I’d be having a hissy fit.

I watched the replay of another brilliant innings by Glenn Maxwell and the Kings XI Punjab last night. We’ve been speculating on the emotional impact of Maxwell’s presence. Warner’s astonishing drop of Maxwell early in the game was thought by one commentator to be due to Warner’s realizing how important getting Maxwell out was, and then nerves kicking in.

 

I’ve found myself having funny reactions because of nerves. There was the usual case of unpleasant butterflies in my stomach and sweaty hands just before going on air working on television news, or before playing most concerts. But I remember clearly one concert in particular, when I was playing in a massed band event at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. I thought I was perfectly calm. I was one of a hundred clarinetists, maybe more, hidden in a crowd, unlike other performances where I had stood out more. The music was relatively simple to play, and I thought I was enjoying myself when out of nowhere, my right ring finger started twitching uncontrollably. I jammed it down into the keyhole. It twitched. I relaxed it loose in the air and it still shook. At the same moment, I suddenly thought hey, this is the Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto’s classiest performance centre, and my stomach dropped. The whole world appeared suddenly foreign. After a minute or so, the world righted itself. My finger once more behaved normally, the shock of losing control wore off and I began enjoying playing again.

 

I’d played many concerts since, including a solo performance, and never had that finger misbehave again. I monitored myself carefully, though. It was such an unusual split between my normal sense of self while facing a situation I knew I could handle, and my body pointing out to me that no, I was not as calm as I pretended. Of course, out of that crowd of musicians and the 2000-strong audience, no one was aware of my drama but me, or perhaps maybe my stand partner.

 

Unlike poor David Warner who has television cameras and billions of fans dissecting his moment of challenge.

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