I rushed for the train, ignoring the man playing jazz at the St Pancras piano, but seeing it was late went to hear him. He was listening to a young woman singing her own song. She harmonised very simply- an octave in the bass, a triad in the treble, not even using inversions, and only chords I, IV and V- once, a VI. When he looked at me I wondered if he wanted me to go.
She left for her train, and he sat down to hit blue notes in a way those of us who do not, envy. “Do you play?”
-Would you like to?
I sat down to play Giorni Dispari, a not terribly difficult piece, not terribly well- though with feeling.
“Oh, more than a little,” he expostulated, warmly, and I bathed in that warmth. I am thinking of it now. I went for my train.
What is that “A little”- mock-modesty, perhaps, to elicit praise; or my best estimate of my talents; or not properly valuing my gifts? It is the kind of thing I hear from others: it might be for varying causes, to hide ability in order to get one over on someone, or even because it is the done thing or the fashion.
I procrastinate, and retreat, because I have little hope, or valuing of my gifts, or belief in what I might achieve. It seems that seeking to evaluate my achievements and abilities might help me: discounting them does me no good. My feeling of never being good enough- if that were true, I would not be here.
He who fears he shall suffer already suffers what he fears.
-Michel de Montaigne