There were butterflies in my stomach... I've done this a hundred times at least but the butterflies start their fluttering when I start to doubt myself. "This place is too nice." "No one is coming to see me play tonight." "I'll disappoint the organizer and they'll never let me back." "I hope I don't mess up." Sometimes the language barrier is a safe place to hide. Just smile and say sorry. A lonely chair beckoned me... sound check... clear... my fingers stuttered. I was first in line. Crispy Creams waited in the back room... real musicians meditated. I spoke to the young girl who was really a real woman disguised as a willowy delicate flower. I had no idea what power drove her but I would witness it later when she took the stage... but first, it was my turn. The screen rolled up, I cleared my throat and began. Soon it was over. I remember I hit the notes, I fulfilled my part of the bargain... no musical mistakes but plenty of verbal ones. Sunday is not Doyobi... it's Nichiyobi. The weather is cold, not fine. But, all in all I returned to the sitting room shining. Next up, two water nymphs skipped out to greet the mass of people who collected at the chairs and tables. They giggled, strummed, pouted, and, at times, almost burst into tears. They pranced away and then the young woman took the stage. "I can't believe she's so composed!" "How does she know all this about life?" "Where does that deep woman voice come from?" "I'm happy I went on first." My butterflies came back fluttering their nonsense but for a different reason. This was music from the core... uninhibited.. sharply accurate... but warm enough to make you resonate with it. I'm not sure where I fit or how old my soul is but I know that I am an eternal student. As I thanked the people who DID come to see me and the man who made it all possible I smiled at him and said in Japanese something like,"Thank you for the food." Another verbal mistake (I had meant to say Otsukare sama deshita... (well done) but possibly this was more truthful after all.