Much of my life has been a battle between words and music. One or the other always has my attention. Even when I picked a major, I was torn between Piano Pedagogy and English. I’ve always longed to combine them somehow, but they never have gotten along enough to work together. Music is so intangible and difficult to write about, and words seem meaningless and pointless when I am expressing the inexpressible on my piano.
So whenever I write about music, I am really trying to do the impossible. But the impossible is fun to try:
I fold myself up at my desk. Book perched on my knees like an open nest, waiting for the warm feathers of my thought to settle down on it and rest. A paragraph grips me and my thoughts encircle the book, translating words into intent, ideas into memory, emotions into physical reactions. The pages begin to beat faintly with the rhythm of my own heart.
One silver tone tugs at my ear, and suddenly the warm nest is gone. I feel the unsteady tree limb beneath my feet, the wind whispering sweet notes into my ear. My mind is pulled along, trying to connect the notes. What is this song?
My thoughts scatter and condense in the whoosh and whirl of song, massing together into one wind-blown wing. Without a second glance back to the nest, I take off into the gust, born aloft by a sad, sweet melody.
The wind takes me where it wills, and the whole world melts away. There is nothing but this haunting, holy harmony. With swells and falls, it takes me on an indescribable journey into the sky. When it finally thins down to a whisper, it rests me quietly down on one long tonic note.
Walls become solid around me, with colors and shapes defining my dorm room. I sit stupidly staring, my gaze still befuddled by the winds of music. Slowly I realize my legs are numb, the book in my hand still not past the first page.
I am too much a musican.