Rubato

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It’s a typical day. My eyes are going unfocused from lack of sleep, my body is feeling like someone has gone over it with an iron rolling pin, and my mind is in turmoil from the constant limbo that is school. It is overwhelming to deal with, sometimes, the huge amounts of stress that can pile up on my shoulders. The backpack of worries is far too heavy for me to carry on a regular basis without having something to lift it off. When I drag myself home after a long day, I reach for my cello.
First, my scales: the metal strings are ice cold to my touch and I feel a thrill tingling in my fingertips as I warm up. The constant yet unconscious craving I have for music is satisfied. My fingers rediscover their hidden yearning to fly across the strings. I play my lowest string, relaxing my weight into the string and feeling it vibrate, feeling the whole cello resonate against my body, pulsing the tiredness from my body. Warmth blossoms inside me as I let the tension in my hand go, oscillating into a perfect, steady vibrato. I hear every note, sense every beat. I know, judge, and feel what is now, what has passed, and what is to come. This moment, this now, this forever - I am so immersed in it, I feel every note perfectly blending with the next. I notice my mistakes, sensing them and correcting them easily, without losing the flow, as in life you can only ever do in music. Moving to my highest string, I let my heart soar, the clear, poignant note cleansing my heart of worries and lifting me high in the air with a sudden, fierce elation.
It all seems trivial now, my anxiety- it’s unreal, not tangible, not like this. Not like this that I can hear and feel. When I am playing the cello, I don’t worry about the past, about my mistakes, or the future, the difficult things that are yet to be done. I just be.
Every hardship just slides off of me now, as if they are raindrops and I am glass, leaving me with the purest serenity. The calmness rolls off me in waves and those waves combine with my music and together they ripple outwards from me. They will go far, of that I’m sure. Maybe they will even come back to me.
With perfect grace, I unwind my bow. I am ready to face the world now.





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