I wish I could find the right words to express how it felt completing my first two live shows, as I stepped back on stage for gigs at The Vortex and PizzaExpress Jazz Club over the last month.
After the dark year of recovery from cancer, I had returned to health to fulfil my lifelong dream... and at the age of 72.
I could so easily diminish such a momentous experience for it was mine alone, an internal struggle to achieve what I truly thought might be denied me. I could now live out my future, with all the joys that age brings, including performing again and singing the music that has always inspired and pushed me musically and vocally.
And there I was...
Backstage waiting to go on with a heart beating so wildly that I thought it was drummer practising and my mind opening to all the doors of failure.
Would anyone turn up? Would anyone remember me from the work I had done previously? Lyrics, oh my, what lyrics?
Everything was blank; a blur of what ifs. Why had I worn these ridiculously high heels that were already making my eyes water with pain? Why??
My eyes weighed down with eyelashes full and false, trying to keep them open with a look of wide eyed expectancy, trying not to look too hysterical.
"Be careful of what you wish for" was all I could hear until I heard my name being announced and had to face my music. This music that had pulsated through
my blood for three years and gave me hope and showed how willpower can overcome.
Then my brilliant band started the chords of the first song, and I knew I had come home.
So emotional, so powerful, was the moment that my throat constricted and I held back tears of such joy that I welcomed the heavy eyelashes that covered them.
These words will never be enough to describe the high of those nights and the power of my voice and music.
The thrill of musical excellence, improvising vocally pushing my boundaries... oh
The success of these gigs have now spurred me on to do more, but now I have to tap in to my optimistic resource willpower mode and find a promoter, agent, champion of my music and have a chance to say "hello, here I am" to a new audience.
Anyone out there? You can find me at www.pepilemer.com