I’ve been wanting to hang up my instruments for years and finally made it happen! Why did I wait so long? Well, kids. I have children and always imagined them smashing them in delight like a heavy-metal rockstar. I did lay down some stern rules for them,”NO TOUCHING! Unless I am with you the whole time!” And I tried to place my most valuable treasure, my own violin, in the most inaccessible and inconvenient spot, out of reach for them. Who am I kidding? Kids find a way! But, I am accepting the risk and choosing my own joy in its place.
This room makes me happy! In my mind’s eye, I see my students during their lessons playing that middle one on the left. I see my children sweetly making noise on the tiny purple violin while I practiced over the years. I see happy days in Hawaii trying to learn the ukulele. There is one empty hook waiting my childhood violin. It’s not of any value, or pretty. More of a violin-shaped object, but a treasure and symbol of the path on which music has led me. And there is my own voice hanging on the far right. She has stuck with me, grown with me, adapted to me, and challenged me. Sometimes she still feels like a stranger, begging to be known.
During these months of moving, she has been a sanctuary, a space of comfort away from the chaos, and also a source of sad discomfort. My time with her has been a sometimes-harsh reminder that our relationship is not one of ease. She demands to be known, and throws her hands up in a way when I am not bringing what she needs to our practice together.
The children have started school which creates some breathing space for me to refocus on my music. It’s just for me. The thing I need to feel myself again. In these reconnecting times, I gravitate to the soul pieces, the ones that challenge me and also bring comfort. I always turn to Bach Sonatas and Partitas. I think they will forever be my home base. A fellow violinist once told me they were like a prayer, a deep devotion, and I couldn’t agree more.
Today my devotions will be in this happy place, full of light and memories. We’ll start with Bach Sonata No. 1, and move to Partita No. 3. It is movement down memory lane, and a reminder that yes, I can play, and yes, I can continue to progress. And yes, there are more memories to be made.