I was eleven or twelve, sitting in my room, trying for the 47th time to understand why my opening of Mozart’s 4th Violin Concerto sounded so much less compelling than basically anything else audible ever. I remember thinking, ‘Why can’t I do this? What could possibly make me do this better? Why is it so awful?’
I had zero other ways of coping with the issue. I knew it was bad, I knew I was the reason, and I was stuck. I sat there for a long time – or, long for an eleven year old. Maybe ten minutes. My lesson was the next day, I’d been stuck on that opening since before Jesus, and too many people already knew how to do it well for it to be at all acceptable that I was still stuck.
These sorts of dark, what-else-is-there-even, moments necessitate my deeper, desperate, beseechings. And so, I implored:
Please! Please let me find a way to do this! Please let me play this well! Please!!!!
And you know what? I was talking to myself. I knew when I asked, the moment that need wailed itself from my soul, that I was entreating myself to give a little bit more. And that’s how I found prayer.