Hullo! It's been a while.
I'm writing this because I got two letters today, one from my Emilyhobbit and one from my very dear friends in Lyon. Emily's is filled with little dactyls waving hello and sketches of creatures from Miyazaki and hedgehogs and gulper eels and a little platypus going "hulllooooo", which reminds me that the world can be lovely (there are hedgehogs and platypi in it! But most importantly, there are Emilys to cheer me up).
Then a letter in French! From J.C. and J., the two lovely people who were my family and company for a year (a year?!) in Lyon. J.C. talks about the crate of vegetables he needs to collect from the garden, his bricolage (handywork), the primaries in France. J. has made quince jelly perfumed with raspberries ("not bad!", as she says), and soon she'll start wandering the windy secret passageways of Lyon on walks with her friend again. It's been so long since I've really sat down and read French, but I can immediately tell that J.'s writing style is completely different, and I can hear it in her voice. I learned some new words and phrases. Native French is so beautiful.
I love getting letters, because what made you happy or touched you in them is always there. Sometimes you play a phrase in a performance and the moment makes you so filled with emotion, but later it's faded and you can only tell people, "OH, it was... amazing." Pale and awkward and horrible compared to what you actually felt; you feel guilty for describing it so boringly. But in a letter someone else wrote for you, their emotion is always there. If you know them well enough, you can always hear them talking to you in that particular proud tone of voice they only get when they talk about pterodactyls. :)
I haven't been doing well adjusting to being back, or whatever it may be. I spend a lot of time brooding, or gloomily musing, or whatever you want to call it. Classes aren't difficult, but they're hard to be in sometimes. Ensembles likewise. Things that I used to look forward to and get excited about feel like another duty. My cello playing is affected-- some days, I feel tired and disillusioned and feel like it would be better just to drop out and not play. Then I get depressed about that thought, since I love cello and want to love playing it all the time. Then I play wrong notes, my bow goes all scratchy, I get nervous and upset. I feel very alone in ensembles where I used to feel like part of a huge group of friends. If I did stop playing, would it really matter? Would anyone notice?
I guess life in Davis did go on without me. What an easy, logical thing to type out. But there's part of me that resents that and feels like I don't matter any more. I've been replaced and my role re-shifted. I might as well have left. What am I doing as a music major if I'm not enjoying what I do? If I'm not contributing to the department or enjoying creating music? What if I'm not even that good at it any more? Behind all of my cello playing, some awful part of me can't stop telling myself that maybe I can't be a cellist, because if I can't handle even this, I'll never be able to get my life together enough to play better or play how I want to. Or enjoy playing.
Of course, sometimes I do enjoy it. Sitting alone in a practice room spending an hour on two measures of minor Bach, playing fun cello trios, playing super thumpy parts in orchestra, proudly building up my thumb callouses. It just takes so much energy to stop all the gloomy thoughts from coming back as soon as the happy moment ends. It helps when Stephen is around and not in a school situation-- it's impossible to be sad or preoccupied when you're making drunk snickerdoodles and Stephen's obsessively frying cabbage.
But letters are a little bit of happy to carry around with me all the time; they help me remember that I do have friends who do care about me enough to draw platypi for me or tell me about the vegetables in their garden. I wish I were better at drawing platypi for myself to cheer me up, but I suppose writing letters back does cheer me up almost as much as getting my own letters.
It's late and I have a paper due so soon. Sigh...
- Current Location:home
- Current Mood: sad
- Current Music:hum of refrigerator, sara interjections