Strings

“A” can stand for Anna or for anger. “S” can stand for Song or for sadness. I know this because anger and sadness have been parts of me for eleven years.
I was four years old when a violin and a bow were brought into my life. My parents and my violin teachers explained the nature and uses of these objects. I accepted the information since it was all new to me. There was a lot to understand. Everything was more complex than it looked. Music seemed wonderful though, especially to those adults who insisted that I learn to make music.
As years passed, I slowly did learn about making music, but I also learned about myself. I developed many feelings and started to crave things other than the violin, which didn’t seem to match me anymore. I silently argued with myself about this. Eventually, my silence exploded into emotions. I cried. Fury swept through me. I talked back to my mother. Really, much of these emotions originated with the violin. You should know, however, that the violin hasn’t been a futile negativity; as I’ve said, my feelings changed.
A score is black ink on paper. Music must come from inside me. And I must love what comes from inside me. But now, rather than feeling love, I feel only a repeating pattern, as if my violin and bow are mere tools of a mechanical use. This doesn’t seem right, even though my parents, fans, and teachers have applauded my ability to reproduce this pattern. They’ve even urged me to perfect it. I felt happy when they seemed happy, so I continued playing the violin for many years. But, I was only acting for their entertainment. I wasn’t satisfying myself. In reality, I don’t have to act, I just can. “I have to” is a requirement, while “I can” is a decision. I had decided to act as a puppet so others would be proud of me, but I felt saddened that I was attached to strings.
I’m not sure why I’m continuing the violin since I am constantly pulled by two forces. One, the support of my parents, the dedication of my teachers, and the confidence that so many people have shown in me: I recognize that these are priceless. My mother especially devoted time and money so I could become a prodigy on a wooden box with strings. I thank them all, but force number two wants me to explore myself.
The future is unknowable. Maybe the violin will become a feature of my past. Certainly, this would cause me sorrow. No matter what, my experience with the violin will always live within my heart, but will never become my heart’s entirety. I’ll never forget the sacrifices that were made for me, and I’ll never regret making others happy. Still, I’m not a violin, and I want to know how it feels to move without strings. It’s time.





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SilverSnowflakes said...
Mar. 11, 2010 at 6:46 pm
They were introduced into my life too at 4 (it was my idea though, I really wanted to learn violin), and I felt like this (and so did a bunch of other people I've met) a few years ago but my mom made me keep practicing (she said I could quit when I was 16) and somehow I outgrew that and now I think I might even go into music. maybe. I'm definitely not a prodigy.
this is very well written :)
 
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