Preconceived Notions

Notes from Janey . . .

Recently, Tupelo and I went to a music festival. I was especially keen on seeing a band again who had the most fabulous fiddle player. She danced and gyrated across the stage to wild Celtic and progressive bluegrass beats. The music, the dance, her body and the fiddle became one. She was amazing.

Since I’ve been thinking of learning the fiddle, I knew she would be the inspiration I needed to finally pick the dang thing up and start screeching the bow across the strings. I couldn’t wait to see her again.

But when the band took the stage (we were sitting right down in front), she didn’t look the same. Blonde hair, not black– no biggie, hairstyles and color change. A few pounds more — okay – it happens to the best of us. She dressed the same, but I couldn’t make this woman look like the fiddle player I’d been eagerly waiting to see.

When she began to play, the notes were fast and furious, and in excellent tune. But no jumping. No dancing. Was she just having a bad day? No. As the set played out, it was obvious this was not the same woman.

I was so disappointed, and had a hard time enjoying the band’s show.

Later that night, a legend in bluegrass took the stage. We had seen him two years before at a bluegrass festival in the Tetons. His backup band then was two extraordinary women. It was harmonies from heaven, and the best bass player next to Edgar Meyer.

Imagine my disappointment this time when he stepped on stage with four guys. Four well-known guys, to be sure, but definitely not who I was expecting. And it was nowhere near the show we had seen before.

Later, when asked how the festival was, I heard myself whine about my two biggest disappointments. I bemoaned the fact that what I had paid good money to see, wasn’t there at all.


I hate people who do that, don’t you? Yet, here I was one of them. My preconceived notions almost ruined the festival for me. If I had gone with the intention of enjoying myself, no matter what, then guess what? I would have loved every minute.

I would have noticed what a fantastic fiddler the blonde was – definitely an inspiration to learn the instrument myself. I would have been thrilled seeing well-known elders of the bluegrass scene join in harmony with the icon of the ‘70s.

Whining of what I thought should have been, is not who I truly am. I’m not a whiner. I think of myself as one who accepts circumstances, no matter what. I’m not willing to have experiences diminished because of small mindedness. But here I was doing it. When I caught myself, I was appalled.

I’m grateful that I at least made it that far – to notice. But that’s not enough, is it? Next — I had to realize why this was so out of line with my true self. Third, I vowed to do better. From now on, I will curtail the urge to form preconceived notions because I want to glean the good out of my life’s experiences.

Wish me luck.

(Article and photo by Janey Wing Kenyon)

This is the end of the article entitled Preconceived Notions published by Tupelo Kenyon on January 30, 2009 at 5:00 am | In Uncategorized - Copyright 2007 - All rights reserved worldwide.

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