I felt I should write about a more serious subject for the first time in what seems like quite a while, and it’s the reason I haven’t been writing as often as I have in the past. The problem is motivation. I’ve been really frustrated with myself and the state of my life for the last few months, and I just can’t seem to pull it together. Eight solid months of constant financial difficulties have created a sense of foreboding and despondency that is, while not entirely new to me, certainly at an all-time high. That kind of stuff isn’t fun to write about, and neither is it fun to read, so I’ve kept quiet.
It’s not all doom and gloom, however, and I don’t want to you to worry about me. Incidentally, ‘I don’t want you to worry’ reminds me of a funny thing one of my friends said recently. He said that he’s going to start saying, “I don’t mean to–” and then say that very thing. As in, “I don’t mean to be rude, but you look really fat!” I responded in kind with, “Pardon my French, but ‘Putain, fais chier!’ ” But I seriously don’t think you need to worry. Actually, you can if you want, or not; I can’t really stop you. But at least you know what’s going on.
In some strange news, two people have died very young recently. One of whom I knew only slightly—a friend of a friend kind of situation, but he was a great guy—and the other I didn’t know at all, but who was my close friend’s brother-in-law. Both men died from sudden heart attacks, and both men were in their thirties. I don’t really know what else to say, but my heart goes out to all involved. Things like that freak me out, and with the news of the airplane crash in San Francisco and the nightmarish runaway oil train that derailed and decimated the heart of the little town in eastern Canada, it’s a miracle I get any sleep at all. There are a myriad of things to ruminate over.
I’ve hardly touched my cello in months. It never seems to get any easier, even after playing for almost nine years. I play a ton of other instruments, and eventually I’ve gotten to a certain comfort level with them, but that comfort level on the cello continues to elude me. It probably doesn’t help that some of the better cellists in town have either lived before or currently in my same apartment building, which has led me to be a bit self-conscious at times about practicing here, but that’s my own issue. Learning the cello (and probably any other instrument) is a series of plateaus. You strugglestrugglestruggle with one technique, and then it finally makes sense and you take a little step up. You stay there for a while and strugglestrugglestruggle with another technique, and so on. This is perfectly natural. But when is it going to seem like I know what I’m doing on it? My vibrato is terrible, I never sound or feel relaxed, I’m sure I have about a million bad habits, et cetera, et cetera. By comparison, it only took about 2 years to feel comfortable playing the guitar, and about a year or two to feel comfortable on the accordion. Drums, although I don’t play them very often, have always come fairly naturally. Mandolin took about a week, but that’s an unusual situation, since it’s the same skill set as the guitar. Cello is still, by far, the most difficult and frustrating instrument I’ve ever attempted. I don’t need to be Yo-Yo Ma or join an orchestra or anything—although that would be great—but it would be nice not to cringe every time I hear a recording of myself playing.
That’s all I feel like writing at the moment, but I’m going to try to write at least a little more regularly. Here’s hoping the despondency and foreboding dissipate before too long. If and when they do, you’ll hear from me more. If they don’t, then. . .well, I guess you won’t. And you’ll know why.
See you around.