Wednesday, July 28, 2010


“To err is human,” and all that, but most of us have been punished in one way or another for making mistakes. So, making a mistake in public? In front of a lot of people?

I don’t know what train of thought last night led me to a memory of a conversation with Temple Painter, the harpsichordist. He said he was always relieved when he made his first mistake in a performance. He said he didn’t have to worry any longer about being perfect. “O.k., done that and survived. Now let’s move on.”

Notice that he used the word “first.” That first one was a reminder that he would make more mistakes, and that they weren’t, after all, that big a deal.

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