I picked up my violin today, a first this year I think. I didn’t bring it to England with me, and either way it just doesn’t get much attention at all nowadays. I played regularly for eight years. I quit taking my lessons and going to the orchestra for many different reasons that all conglomerated into a lump in my stomach every time I was supposed to play. When I started playing I had so much fun, ignoring my home work every week in favour of picking out whatever tune was on my mind by ear. As I advanced I felt more pressure, and less joy. When I was 13 I changed school, and advanced to a higher level orchestra in town. Every week I had to wait in town all afternoon to go there, as it would have taken too much time to go home in between. It simply made me feel bad, and I quit.
That was nearly nine years ago now, and over the years I’ve often felt that I wanted to start playing again on my own, as I did when I was eight. But it doesn’t happen, and each time I do play I feel less confident about my ability. Which of course only means I’m even less likely to keep doing it.
But today was one of those rare day when I did pick the violin out of its case. Tuning it was a bit of an adventure, but I succeeded. I had some fun playing the pieces I practiced the hardest when I was 13/14ish, and they all sit in my memory as if they were carved there by repetition. The sound of my bow on the strings left something to be desired though. I just hope I can find that joy, free of obligation, that will enable me to keep playing, and maybe one day it will not sound awful anymore.