I began playing the ‘cello at age four after begging for several months about how I did not want to play my present instrument – the closely related violin – but that I wanted, no, needed to play the ‘cello. I’ve played ever since. Except, that is, for a nearly three year period during which I hardly looked, let alone played, my instrument. Those were the worst two and a half years of my life. When I do not play, I do not live – this I believe.
It’s usually hard for non-instrumentalists to understand this connection that I have with my ‘cello, and when faced with the undeniable look of confusion, I try my hardest to help said person grasp the idea that I physically, mentally, and emotionally cannot live without my music.
“Imagine your passion,” I would ask them. Say that they respond with “football”. “You love the game, it’s your life. Now imagine experiencing an injury and being told that you’ll never be able to play again. The purpose to which you have set you life is gone forever. Then maybe you’ll understand how I feel when I’m not playing.”
So why would I, the one proclaiming all this about having a “relationship” with an inanimate object, not play for nearly three years? It’s a long story, but I suppose it’s rather simple if I don’t go into details. I was experiencing abuse from my father in relation to my music. The episodes of abuse spanned throughout my childhood and I soon related the two. If A equals B and B equals C then A equals C – If my playing equaled time with my father and time with my father equaled abuse, then my playing equaled abuse, so I “quit”. It was a form of rebellion I suppose, but instead of hurting my father, I was hurting myself.
During those two and a half years I fell into a deep depression, and when my father walked out, it only got worse. Even though I was safer from his abuse, I became incredibly paranoid and everywhere I went I feared that I would see my father. It was an awful time and even now, looking back, I am overwhelmed with all those feelings again. I could just look at the ‘cello and so many emotions would be brought back, so I just didn’t. I had lost my love of music along with my father.
During my sophomore year of high school, I picked the ‘cello up and was once again overwhelmed with emotions – but this time they were pleasurable and good. I felt whole and as if that place, behind my ‘cello, was where I belonged.
I hope to continue my playing through professional school, a conservatory or institute maybe. The ‘cello is the love of my life along with its music and even if I do not continue with it, my heart will melt every time I hear the mellow, melancholy sound of this amazing instrument. I will carry the ‘cello forever in my heart and soul – this I believe.
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