When I faced the o-daiko
At the beginning?
Sticks in hand, I stared into
That blank eye and found myself.
Hopefully the classmate I'm thinking of will as well.
EDIT: For those unfamiliar with taiko, O-daiko is kind of like being an arm's length away from the eye of Sauron, at least at first. For a new student, it involves a significant position change, plus the realization that o-daiko work means you may eventually have to (gulp) solo. Here's the inimitable Kenny Endo, who is not afraid of smacking Sauron in the cornea with impunity. I wish I played like that:
We have a few students who have advanced from the beginner class this session. Shannon-sensei put all the drums up on stands tonight and had us work in that position on a simple drill. D_____ had played around with it before during the last set of classes. L_____ was working hard and struggling with where his arms should go on recovery from each stroke. I could tell M____ hated it. (She likes lurking in the back row on a PVC sewer-pipe drum and always refuses offers to go up to the front row and play on one of the wine barrel taiko.)
I remember how it felt when I started on o-daiko work. Of course, me being me, I went all stubborn on the Eye. I'd make myself go first when Sensei asked for volunteers, to the point that the entire class began to assume I liked going first, no matter how crappy my solos were. I'd channel my inner Toshiro Mifune and kiai, even if I sound like a shiba inu whose tail's been stepped on. Which is how I ended up with a solo in our signature piece "Jisshin," in front of live audiences this past year.