I’ve missed two regular weekends of choir. The first occurred a fortnight ago, the feast of Michaelmas, when I was in Melbourne. The second occurred last weekend, which was a choir holiday (something my poor colleagues were made aware of as I moped about the office in the few days leading up to this dreadful famine. They are all dreading January, when the choir is on recess for a whole month). Now choir is back and tonight I went to a normal Friday evening rehearsal with a small but significant writhe of anxiety in my chest.
I’ve had a rehearsal since the choir holiday on the weekend, of course – two nights ago I was sitting with my friends rehearsing Handel’s Messiah. But it wasn’t a regular Friday night rehearsal. And so my stupid anxieties (thanks, limbic system. I love you, too) went into overdrive. What if I get there and there’s no place for me – there’s one less chair than there should be in the soprano section and the space I occupy is no longer available for me? What if the choir sounded better without me and our choirmaster decided to make it a permanent thing? What if my friends enjoyed themselves more in my absence and I find myself shut out? What if I find myself shut out of the group of people I love, like a foreign body attacked by white blood cells?
It didn’t happen, of course, because my brain is stupid and comes up with things to worry about that aren’t even close to rationality. And it wasn’t a huge worry, not really. Just a nasty little insidious nagging worry, the sort that I think we probably all have but are too embarrassed (with good reason!) to admit. And of course there was a chair for me. Of course the choir wasn’t closed against me, of course I wasn’t shut out. As usual, I slipped into the group with the ease of a single drop of water joining a stream, with the sense of relieved homecoming of a fish returned to its cool, dark pool.
Honestly, sometimes my brain is stupid, and annoying, and just needs a good slap.