Monday, February 05, 2007



My bottom having left its place in order for me to mark the score with a new bowing, moved to sit back down and missed, as if someone had played a prank and moved the chair.

Luckily, I managed to save my cello from the crash by holding it high, though my ‘seat’ got a bit of a battering.

A few days later, as I admired the muscled arms of the winter plane trees reach out over the Salzach, I realised I had tears in my eyes. I craved sinewy limbs around me. I needed bunched tree-fists to protect and stand up for me. I could not get rid of the feeling that I was moving to sit but tumbling into emptiness.

During the concerts I had a desk partner around whose sound I could wrap mine like mace around nutmeg and she helped me climb back into the music. The music, in turn, acquired muscle, reached out and held me. Whatever bruises to the ego, lashes to pride, whatever sense of injustice and misunderstanding, amongst whatever untruths or jealousies, the music coiled up through me and undid the noose. Though I was in pieces, I realised yet again that the music was indestructible; that it was in fact, as I sat broken at the bottom of the wall like Humpty Dumpty, performing a stunning act of reconstructive surgery on me night after night.

Walking off stage, I could feel the wounds prizing me open again, and the old familiar cry welling up. Like a child in the corner of the playground who has not been picked, I wailed:

‘All I want to do is play’.


Blogger MB said...

There is something about the emotional tenor or resonance of this, Ruth, that strikes a deep place within me. All I want to do is....

7:54 PM  
Blogger TaunaLen said...

Absolutely amazing. I love this post, and its imagery. The part about your reaction to the tree limbs resonated in my heart; and I am so thankful for the healing power of music. I found you through my daily "Postcards from Provedence" emails, and really enjoy reading you.


6:09 PM  
Blogger TaunaLen said...

I knew I'd spelled Provence wrong. I should have double checked. :)


6:13 PM  
Blogger ruth said...

Thanks mb and Tauna.

I know a very nice restaurant in 'Provedence'....!

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Marci said...

Whatever happened to that poor,
poor tree? It looks brutalized.

Stephen Isserlis here in Charlottesville tomorrow night. Ive
been lisening to him all winter,
thanks to YOUR heads-up back last
fall, and am incredibly excited.

I'll let you know...

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Doug said...

The words and imagery of your posts (this one in particular) expose wounds and voids, a feeling of things missing.

However, this is counterbalanced by your evident love of music and the meaning and fullness it provides in your life. In this, you have a rare gift. The ability to make good music is uncommon, but I believe the ability to truely feel it is even more rare.

Whatever else you may feel is missing from your life, by having this one thing you have more than most people, who muddle through life without ever truely loving and appreciating anything.

5:40 PM  

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