I play the cello, and I mean that in the most unprofessional sense. I’m not really that good and I want to make it perfectly clear this is not an attempt to pander for sympathetic encouragement and approval from my relatives and friends…..I can only hope.
I’m nearly deaf, and my oldest granddaughter refers to what I wear as “hard of hearing aids.” Luckily I have one working eye and can’t drive anymore except on very well lit days. The good news here is this allows me NOT to see the music when I play (bad for me…worse for the listener). On the bright side….I don’t practice as much as I should either, and this reticence to discipline moves me ever closer to gaining certification as a musical collision specialist. This a calculus that does not portend a cocktail for success, but as long as I have a heavy handed brass section behind me…. I’m safe.
If you don’t practice, your fingers become like frightened children who missed the fire drill at school, and when a fire rages, these wandering fingers are lost in a blaze of limited facility and appalling intonation. You know it’s happening, but it’s too late to do anything about it.
Trust me….okay hypothetically if you must. My cello is like dealing with a jealous girlfriend, if you don’t pay attention to her…..she will not let you play in tune. It’s The Ancient Rule. I swear my fingerboard shifts on me when I’m playing. Pam also knows how to get my attention… and I always make it a point to appear interested. But sometimes she goes just a little over the top and asks me to pick up after myself or take out the garbage, but that’s just because she doesn’t realize the pressure I ‘m under …you know… being all retired and stuff. I need my rest.
I keep playing because this instrument has been a close friend that literally saved me from a life of hopelessness and inferiority when I was young.
When my cello is in hand, I can go to places in my mind and heart I cannot go with anyone else. When I’m playing, I feel an emotional freedom, and a sense of perpetual creativity. If the music calls for it, I can express ferocious passion or speak the sweetest moments. To be sure, it’s amazingly cathartic. And besides that…It’s way cheaper than psychotherapy.