Coffee: India Extra Bold Roast, Cafe Crema
My hands hurt. I’ve been typing too much. Every time my hands hurt, I remember a big part of my life that’s not so big anymore: from 4th to 12th grade I played cello.
Music was something I wished I was better at from the minute I picked it up. That’s not to say I was bad. I took private lessons. In High School, I placed in All-State Orchestra twice, was first chair once. But the things I was good at didn’t excite me. I was technically sound. I could play what you put in front of me. More than that, I had a decent ear so I found good ways of expressing the songs. But every time I tried to come up with something original, I fell apart.
It’s something stuck in history, I guess. My mother was a musician. She’d never admit it, but she was good. I saw my hands in her hands. I saw the good parts, the way they could bring out a song, but also the bad: tension, stress, the need to be perfect; no wonder I gave myself tendonitis. I feel a similar drive when I’m writing, but there’s no performance with words: you cut, cut, cut the diamond, set it, give it away; you don’t have to deal with the wide-eyes in the concert hall.
The happiest thing I got from almost a decade playing cello was the people it brought me to. I met friends in middle school that saved me; I had a good teacher who truly believed in me; I found my first love, one-sided as it was, in a black-haired violinist at All-State. Music takes so much of you that it’s impossible not to stumble into what other people are spilling out. That part of the art is different than writing; these days, my happiest moments are home alone with Jack and a word doc.
Currently Reading: LaRose, Louise Erdrich
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“May night continue to fall upon the orchestra.” – Andre Breton