Wednesday, July 2, 2014

What I'm Doing This Week

I’m not sure why I thought I’d get a lot of writing in this week. I am at the Chicago Suzuki Institute with my daughters, filling up on music and technique and new friends and Everything Violin. And—most importantly—reminding myself why we’re doing this in the first place (We are doing this in order to grow, in order to become better human beings. Music, you see, is the medium as much as it is the final product, the art, itself. And our lives—they are the true art.)

Those are noble words. The actual work they describe is awkward and messy and really stinking hard, but it is interspersed with these wonderful moments. Kind of like practicing violin, itself, which when done right is not at all romantic, but instead involves things like practicing the same two notes over and over until they can be played well, and then over and over many times more, until they will never sound ugly again. You don’t necessarily want to be in the room for this process, but the results are worth it. 

There has been music-making this week, and understanding, and beauty. 

We are enjoying ourselves and also bordering on wiped-out. In my characteristic, extremely relationship-oriented/extremely introverted way, I half want to absorb more/connect more/converse more, half want to hide somewhere with a book. One daughter, apparently, talks in her sleep. (“Mom,” a voice just informed me out of the dark of our dorm room, “there are two butterflies in here.”) And to be honest, our moments of beauty and understanding are balanced with healthy doses of snippiness.

Overall though, I feel like we have been able to relax more this year. I prepared myself ahead of time for the comparison game—not that I’m not tempted to play (I am) but I am also (mostly) able to see it for what it is. I resolved early on that frog catching/rescuing (they are tiny and everywhere, crossing the sidewalks like ants,) as well as extra desserts, would be part of our daily schedule along with practicing and brushing teeth. And—luxury of luxuries—I brought an air mattress with me this year. Sleeping on the floor won’t hurt. This is all very good.

This feeling that there’s so much here, that I can’t possibly process it all, that I also don’t want to stop trying to process it all—that must be a good sign. This too, I think, is why we are here.

More about our Suzuki institute and workshop experiences here.

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