... and a time to dance.
(from the book of Ecclesiastes, chapter 3, can be translated as grief, or mourning)
Except that there is something I am grieving recently, and pray that there will be that time to dance.
I am grieving being a professional musician.
I am crying about it every time I pass banner posts in the street's center islands announcing the next concert series of the orchestra I played in for 13 years. I mean, it *hurts*.
I have played horn for 25 years. It was my identification, my bread-and-butter, my special offering.
Last week the orchestra played an extraordinary program of all the Beethoven symphonies over the course of four nights. As soon as I found out about it, I kept saying to myself "what I would do to sink my teeth into *that* program". I LOVE Beethoven symphonies. They are fantastic and challenging for the horn section, and the harmonic structure is enchanting and bold. Each time I played one (and I have played all of them; most many times) I got adrenaline and strength pumped into my system, and felt so high on music.
I wanted very much to go to these concerts; or at least one of them. If I couldn't play, I wanted to hear.
I forgot to go.
Yes, I forgot to go to any of them.
For some unknown reason, I didn't write it down (or program the android, actually :)), and somehow missed seeing the obvious street advertisements. I cannot tell you the grief I felt to miss these concerts. I wonder, though, if it would have been just too painful to be there, seeing all my former colleagues, talking with them, again needing to say that I am not playing.
The grief of missing these concerts, though, also stemmed from not playing in them, not just hearing them.
I know you think I can just pick up my horn and play anytime I want. On a simple level, that is true. But that is not the level I am at.
My life is so busy and full, or exhausting and I'm resting/sleeping. I simply do not have room in my mind or my heart for music. I stopped listening to music when I first had PTSD, and I still find it hard to handle in the house. Or possibly it just hurts too much. Does that make sense?
I have a complicated relationship with Sarah the Musician, and I don't relate to her anymore.
But I so miss her.
I do not have the physical strength to hold up to an orchestra schedule, pressure for perfectionism, practice hours, child-care coordination, and many nightly concerts. I collapse at nights. I know I don't have to tell you that. There is a reason I don't work; I can't.
But I miss Sarah the Musician. I mourn her.
I had a dream the other night. I was in a pool with many other people. (I was anticipating going back to the gym that night).
In this dream, though, I was holding my mother in my arms. The water's buoyancy was helping me support her, although she is now lighter than almost her whole life in which I have known her. In real life, she is still bedridden. Her feet have not walked on ground in well over a year.
Back to the dream.
There we were, my mother and I in the pool, me cradling her (baby-in-arms style) just as she is today.
Some leader person was asking for a volunteer to speak. I spoke.
My explanation of 'who we are' was centered around our being mother and daughter, both of whom have been through septic shock, and we are now sculpted by that circumstance.
I woke up feeling so sad and strange. Most of all, I felt sad that I identify myself with that victim instead of the accomplished person that I am. My mother is victim to the same thing now. When asked who I am, in the dream I am not only speaking for myself, but for my mother as well. The feeling and image of holding her in the water like that at the pool (same pool which is at the gym) still is with me today, very palpably. I relate to her plight so strongly; I understand being a victim of a doctor's mistake and paying for it. And whatever platitudes people tell me, I *do* identify myself with the sick/victim persona. People tell me that is not me, just a small part of me. Well, it *is* me, and I cannot change that. My entire day and night, every minute, is effected by it. The illness issues and feelings are constantly with me; please don't tell me that it isn't my identity now. It is an identity which has taken five years to try to be heard, and I need it to be heard.
And I miss playing horn. Boy do I miss being that person. I cry for her.
I mourn for her. She ran a large part of my life, for better *and* for worse. I saw myself as successful through that lens.
Now I am successful for surviving near death, and raising my kids.
And I still want to play in symphonies.
A paradox which needs a spacious soul to hold it all.