Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Music (03/08/07)
By Ruth Neilson
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Still I struggle. No fancy story to weave, not even a glimmer or a flicker of one of the many character voices in my head is speaking up. Why can I not bring myself to write about a subject that has been a part of my life for so long?
I quit band for the last semester of my college career and so many of my friends, both musical and not, questioned my decision. In reality, despite the excuses I gave my friends, I didn’t know why. I just couldn’t do it any more.
I dreaded every Tuesday and Thursday at eleven o’clock. The constant struggle to meet the expectations of a director who dealt primarily with music majors wore me down. I was drained, after each rehearsal.
No longer could I take mental trips during practice to whatever place or time the music emulated; I lost my passion. I missed roaming the open plains with the pioneers, or seeing the nobles’ parade in their regal robes, even feeling the pain of a country torn in half because of war. I missed being able to become entranced in an ancient ceremony, or witnessing the miracles of creation and salvation before my mind’s eyes. To be able to focus on the story buried within the notes was my true passion.
Somewhere, somehow, it vanished. Maybe it was because I started to write regularly, or perhaps, I just couldn’t allow myself to relax enough to find the stories the last few years of college. Being thrust into a group that was primarily made of music majors forced me to constantly push myself harder. No longer could I play, just for the sake playing, but now, I was forced to play and endure the pressure of not being good enough.
I hated going to football and basketball games. They were three wasted hours because we sat and waited for fifteen minutes of playtime. Marching band was a thing of the past. Pleasant memories that I would dwell on—if I lost interest in the game or my homework that would accompany me to the game.
I still try to talk shop with my musically inclined friends. I still make a fool out of myself in those instances. I still listen to band pieces, go to concerts, and am even starting to see the story line in my mind’s eye, but I wonder if I will pick up my instrument again. It’s just a matter of time though. But, until then, I will continue to make music my own way; through the clicking and clacking of my keyboard as I write.
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