Sunday, February 17, 2013

La musique de mon coeur

I wish I could write music. And by write music, I don't mean strum the same three chords on a guitar over and over, humming an imaginary song that means nothing to me until I've grown numb in the head and the heart. That might be useful too at a time like this when I'm overwhelmed with work and stress, but no. I wish I could write music that made me feel something, that made my heart sing. That could make me literally sing.

When I was younger I tried to write songs. If no one was in the house, I'd tiptoe over to my dad's keyboard and crank out a tune. Or at least a chorus. Or half a chorus. I'd make up lyrics and try to create music to fit it. I've always been a wordsmith first, and I think that's what was my ultimate destruction. Having the limitations of prepared words stifled me, prevented me from turning poetry to music. Instead it just became poetry, once I'd given up on the piano compositional part.

But I know this isn't my fate. I know I'm not incapable of making music.

In elementary school, I distinctly remember walking around the sandbox and singing made-up songs to myself. I would pace around the asphalt lining, holding in the sand and all the plastic and metal play sets, and I would compose. I didn't write any of it down so it didn't make much of a difference, but it felt nice to listen to myself sing something that never actually existed before I sang it in that moment.

Sometimes I'd do it when I was around family. I remember once hanging around with my grandma - I think she was cooking at the time - and I started humming a little made up ditty to myself. She mentioned it, saying she could tell it wasn't a real song - that I'd made it up. That disappointed me, but still I loved to do it. To make up a random tune on the spot, even if it was so incoherent that it was obvious not much work had gone into it.

I still do this on occasion. If I'm walking around campus or doing something mundane and I don't have a particular song in my head, I'll make one up. It doesn't have to be good, it doesn't have to be logical, it just has to fill the void that silence causes.

I've had a lot of silence lately. I spend a proportionally large time in my room these days. Occasionally I'll turn on a film or a television show, but for some reason I feel as though the excitement of my previous life at university has gone a bit dull. Or at least quiet. My old dorm is now inhabited by new people, I'm in this new place where the walls are thin but when I want to hear sound all I hear is silence (and when I want silence, I always hear one of those two people howling like a wolf and playing the same three chords on the guitar).

It's hard to kill the emptiness that is caused by the sound of silence. It's made me turn to belting in the shower or playing One Direction in my room and prancing around like I'm filming a Taylor Swift music video. I've turned away from being discrete because discrete makes me lonely.

I just wish I also had the power to turn the flamboyance into a new talent, a new catharsis.

As greatly as I despise the sound of amateur guitarists on my floor, I wish I could be one of them. In my preteens I asked for a guitar for the holidays and got a beautiful black Fender Telecaster. But I rarely used it. In time I realized that I probably would've benefited from having a lovely little acoustic guitar first. I wish now that I'd made that decision then.

Even if I'd had an acoustic guitar, who knows whether I'd have brought it all the way to school with me. I live thousands of miles away from my university, which certainly makes it difficult to travel with large items like musical instruments.

But just thinking about it makes me wistful, hopeful.

When I get home for spring break, my feelings might have changed. In fact, I'm planning on them changing. At this point I'm stagnant, letting myself harp on the past, but I'm determined to turn that around into forward-thinking happiness.

So maybe when I'm reunited with my electric guitar (and my dad's acoustic), I'll have lost the spirit that I know possess, the desire to sit down and compose.

But I hope I don't. Because even though I'm feeling confused and troubled with pent-up energy at the moment, I can feel creative energy pulsing through my veins and I want an outlet for it. I can only hope the enthusiasm will wait until the outlet is available.

Only a few more weeks - just over a month - until I am home for two weeks. If it's fair for me to ask fate for anything, let it be an easy few weeks and a lovely return home. And some beautiful music in my life until I can try and make my own.

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