Tuesday, August 30, 2011

So today I'm thinking about music. Actually TODAY I'm thinking about the fact that my Western Civilization class finally added me back after dropping me the first day because I had a driver's test and didn't show up (yay persistance)and the fact that I just got a novel chapter length e-mail from a friend in China who I haven't talked to in probably a year. (Actually I've never talked to her at all the for real, in person kind of way, but we've been internet friends since we were both in high school seven or eight years ago.) A member of my crit group also just moved to Japan and another friend I've know forever is going to move there in December. Why is everyone suddenly in Asia?

At any rate, YESTERDAY, when I decided what I was going to ramble about today, I was thinking about music and so now I am about to start thinking about that again.

Music. If I were the type to use, music would be my drug of choice. I used to be a music major and sometimes it just felt like a bad addiction. I HATED being on stage. I hadn't decided to learn any kind of instrument until I was sixteen and had no natural aptitude for any of the ones I tried. And yet somehow I couldn't stop. I wanted to know music. I wanted to be music. To control with a twist and weave of my fingers the way my classmates did. I wanted it to obsorb me completely, and take me to whatever majical place it trickled down from. Becuase how could anything so sweet, so perfect, so exciting, come from our world? How could it even be compared with ordinary life?

Maybe that's why it didn't work out for me. Chopin and Motzart and Joplin and the unknown composers of folk tunes were too unreal for me. Too Other. I couldn't think of them with the casual, every day aditude the other musicians had. They played music. That was what they did. There wasn't anything special about it. It was just a part of who they were.

Some people like to say there is no such thing as inner born talent. People who say that have never seen my little brother pick up an instrument he's never touched before and start playing. Talent needs to be nurtured. It sometimes manifests itself later in life or when you least expect it, but it exists.

So my allotment of musical talent is small. That doesn't mean I don't still fiddle around on the piano from time to time. That doesn't mean that my fingers don't twitch when I hear a strain of particularly etherial flute notes and long more than anything to be the one holding that flute. It just means I know where my stronger talent lies. The one that is just a part of who I am. What I do.


I wonder sometimes if when those classmates played their finals all they heard were their mistakes. I wonder if they agonized about them afterwards and went over in their heads about what went wrong.

Actually I know they did. I listened to them do it sometimes. "I held those notes too long. Did you notice when I acidently hit a mnor chord instead of a major?" To which I laughed nervously. Manically. I didn't hear their mistakes. What I heard was magic, otherworldly.

So then I look at my drafts. The long ones, and short ones, and finished and unfinished ones. The run on sentances and typos and over use of the word "saids" and wonder if my readers will even see those. That doesn't mean I'll ever stop agonizing over them or trying to find the exact perfect turn of phrase but I wonder if--or maybe hope that --my readers might see past the mechanics. If maybe to them the story itself will seem otherworldly.

1 comment:

  1. Music like all art is very personal to each of us. I tried the piano once...once. :) Writing is still the best craft to choose in my book. Here's to not stressing over everything. I'll try to follow my own advice. :)