In the last six months, I find myself staring at that particular corner of my desk desperately hoping to be struck with some kind of clearly defined inspiration or a new direction for my life. Instead I’m filled with frustration. I imagine myself stepping into that scene, smelling the cigarette smoke and whiskey and hearing the stories and the laughter and feed off of their drive I seem to have lost.
Like every child, I had my fair share of experimenting with many different areas of creative expression. I participated in any type of dance I could persuade my mother to drive me to and foot the bill. There were brief dreams of becoming a professional dancer, but then again, what little girl wearing a black leotard, pink tights and ballet slippers doesn’t have that dream?
As a pre-teen I sported the 80s poofy hair, purple and pink eye shadow with blue mascara, rainbow bright colored shirts, denim skirts and cowboy boots with fringe. But one day in music class we were treated to an aged video on classical music featuring a classical violinist. I was stunned! How a simple box made of wood, horse hair and allegedly cat guts, make such beautiful music? It looked effortless and the woman playing was the epitome of elegance. I wanted to be her; to wear the long black dress with my hair falling loose behind my back and create auditory bliss. This was no phase for me; this was sheer joy.
I practiced until I had blisters on my nail-bitten fingers and my arms ached, but it felt wonderful and it sounded… well, in my early days of practice all three of my cats would leave the room I was in one by one. I didn’t care. To me, it sounded heavenly and I felt empowered as the creator of those sounds.
Through the years the violin, my cherished possession, became my emotional outlet. I would play that small wooded box so hard sometimes I would break strings and horse hair would go flying. In high school I began private lessons in addition to the school orchestra and local orchestra. But it was in my tutor’s two-story duplex downtown where I realized I would always play for enjoyment. Her demand for perfection had turned my joy into a chore. There would be no long black dress in my future, but rather a quiet passion I will carry with my entire life.