Playing Beethoven tonight. Best escape imaginable. Who needs vino rosso when you have Ludwig?
I had a somewhat traumatic disappointment with regard to my violin career several years ago. I had invested years of sweat, passion and hopes into this piece of wood shaped like a woman and suffered a heartbreaking disappointment. Having played with 110% of my heart since the age of 6, I felt betrayed by my violin, much like a lover who had cheated on me. As a self-protective mechanism, I put my violin in the corner of the room and shut down. A big part of my love for violin died at that time 10 years ago which I haven’t been able to resuscitate. There are glimpses of remembrance when after a few months of dust collecting I decide to pick it up and start playing again. I remember after a few minutes that we really are inseparable and that I love playing; yet it still doesn’t feel quite the same. I don’t have the deep hunger and passion I used to have for it – probably because I’m afraid if I let myself open up again and love and hope to the depths that I once did, Little Miss Violin will cheat yet again or betray me after I put so many hours of love and tears into her. She has a place on the back burner but she is definitely still there. My memory of her is no longer all-consuming but nostalgic and reflective. I could go months without playing or going to a concert and not feel a void of any great proportion. However, once I reconnect after a long sabbatical, I can’t help but feel a pang in my gut. It is very bittersweet for me to be there, knowing in some ways that’s the land where I belong, yet still stubbornly resolved to avoidance of the former lover so I won’t get hurt again. I manage to reside in a musical purgatory of sorts. At the concert tonight when I’m playing, I know I will have that bittersweet feeling again. I will be transported and totally carefree as I remember that no matter what disappointments or setbacks I have faced in life, the violin is much more than an appendage. It is me.