So... while slicing sweet pickles the other night, I lopped off a bit of my thumb! My left thumb, to be exact... the one I need for playing the harp. It wasn't a huge chunk, only about the size of a cooked grain of pearl barley, but even as I type this, I can feel that harping is still a wincing experience.
Having a cut thumb shouldn't be that much of a problem, right? I have plenty of other fingers; just use the other 7 (the pinkie fingers are never used on the harp... never.) The problem is harping is an exercise of strategic planning. My music is covered with numberings and crossovers and replacements of my fingers and left hand #1 is used in almost every measure. Using a dreaded metronome for practicing, I actually train my hands and brain to use an exact spot on an exact finger at the exact time on an exact string. I have everything planned and leaving out a finger changes song execution drastically. What's more, the left hand #1 is the digit of choice for glissandi - the magical whooshings on the strings that make everyone relax and say, "Ahhhh..." But one little slice and everything changes.
Sounds like life, doesn't it. I like to think I have everything figured out and strategically planned. All my activities are neatly numbered and practiced. Sometimes I even plan out the lives of those around me. But in reality, all the plans can so quickly and drastically be erased 'in a twinkling of an eye'.
What happened next? Many band-aides... Many 'why-did-I-do-such-a-stupid-thing' comments... and many "I guess you'll have to stop harping, honey" jokes... The good news is I'll heal up quickly and be back at it soon. But with this experience, I'm reminded again that not everything happens as planned. So many people's life plans have been dashed; they are going through serious stuff one hundred times more painful than lopping off a bit of thumb while slicing sweet pickles. There must be, there has to be... some way to help, some way to at least listen, some way to ease the pain.