Back to chanting....
It's confirmed: I'm an overflowing cauldron of insecurity. I'll be helping to lead High Holy Day services once again this year, which everyone, except me, figured I knew. I'm very happy, and feeling foolish for indulging in so much self-doubt.
I read my 29 verses without incident at the minyan on Monday and Thursday mornings. How I wish I could do this each time I chant (but it's only possible during the summer, when b'nai mitzvah don't need to practice before their big Shabbat debuts). So I was able to assure my irrational self that I had learned the correct section, and that those words really were in the scroll (i.e., of all the humashim in the world, I did not posses the only one containing a strange, alternate version of Parashat Mattot-Masei). I was thrilled to to see that the line breaks of our new Torah matched those of my tikkun. (At least for this section; how I yearn for assurance that this will always be the case.) And I was barely nervous, even while chanting in front of the whole congregation yesterday morning. Maybe I'm cured?
I've finally made friends with this new scroll; we were on shaky ground for a few weeks. Her letters now look friendly and legible rather than fat and square. I like her. I wish she were a little shorter, though; I need to stand on my tiptoes when reading the top of a column. But this I can live with, as as my older relatives would say (with appropriate hand gesture and sigh of resignation).