End of This Road

Key moments in life come and go; sometimes you’ll know when you’re in the moment and sometimes reflection deems a memory important. Yesterday, I spent a little over 2 hours playing what I’d been working on the whole summer: a ten-piece piano program that consisted of 64 pages of memorized music and various technique requirements.

I have participated in this same ten-piece program every summer since I started piano (with less intensive requirements though, of course), but it’s a bit of a shock to look back and see how much has been snowballing over the years. Who knew that the me that struggled with memorizing a 6-page sonata movement would be able to memorize a 21-page full sonata or that the me that used to scoff at practice would be able to buckle down for a weekend and memorize a piece?

This last summer performance of my high school years was fittingly a little strange. Sure, there’s still a judge, ten pieces and a grand piano, but the small conversations about the composers made the difference. I wasn’t just playing pieces for a judge to hear; I was sharing my interpretation of a piece of music and receiving critique from a judge. It’s hard to put in words, but the fact that the judge took time and shared little tid-bits about the composer reminded me that the composers were living people. It’s easy to put them on a pedestal, but they were human too. They had their own hardships and joys, which would come to shape their music, which we appreciate today.

With yesterday in the past, I feel as if I have parted with an old friend. I feel a little blue, but life’s like that. There will be things I’ll forget or regret and drive back for and things that gather like dust, slowly until I suddenly notice one day. There will be times that I have to take a rest-stop and pull over at the next exit. However, a rest is only temporary and soon enough, I’ll begin again. The end of one road is the start of another.

End of This Road

Called to Arms

“Mother tells me. . . If I hold out here and I lay siege to Troy, my journey home is gone, but my glory never dies. If I voyage back to the fatherland I love, my pride, my glory dies. . . .”

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Picture taken by Wally Gobetz on Flickr. Link to gallery below.

The fates present two strands.  The first is intertwined with laurel and emits a heavenly glow.  The another is a mild shade of lavender, a beautiful bore.  This seems to be a choice between an iPhone or a Nexus, Coke or Pepsi, McDonalds or Burger King.  However, upon second glance, the former thread is painfully thin and pinky-length while the latter could have been a lock of Samson’s hair.  A scrap of the gods’ fabric or yards of a mortal’s?

I see myself lazily skimming a white-sand beach.  Gentle wind and clear-blue waters.  Sun so bright and skies so blue that they seem to wage war on my rods and cones with their intensity.  I float on an inflatable lounge chair, complete with adjunct side-table replete with my favorites: Vietnamese green tea, ironically a shade of black, and the most tenacious coffee ice-cream I’ve ever seen, refusing to succumb to the sunlight.  My version of the lavender string.  As inviting as it is, I can’t stay.

By the time I decide on the second, I would have already seized the first.  In my mind, flawless isn’t synonymous to perfect.  I wouldn’t be satisfied by simply sitting still.  To me, perfection is in constant struggle and uncertainty.  What separates me from the typical gambling addict is an ability to influence the outcome.  I don’t charge into battles blindfolded, untrained and empty-handed.  Thorough or brief, I have already scouted the battlefield and enemy ranks.  Furthermore, I find that the harder I work, the better my luck gets, but still, I win some and I lose some.  A power smoothie of frustration and  disappointment impels me to pick myself up and keep going.  Caught up in the moment, I can disregard the rapidly fraying golden string.  Ignoring fear and wielding a laptop, I meet challenges with no intention to lose.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/

Called to Arms

A Domain of One’s Own

Need to find something?  Just Google it.  Since its introduction to the public, going on the Internet has become synonymous with answers.  If we need something, we know that we don’t have to look through many heavy tomes to find what we’re looking for.

Pic creds to cvrcak1 on Flickr.
Pic creds to cvrcak1 on Flickr.

On passing whims, I tend to look up a lot of things and distract myself from what I’m actually doing (which is usually homework).  I think it’s really hard though, when one link seems to lead to another and to another.  By the time I reach the end of the line, I sometimes realize that I have spent hours surfing the Net and doing none of my homework!

Though it’s a great distraction, the Internet is something I wouldn’t choose to be apart from.  Yes the computer is bad for your eyes and yes it probably gives you cancer in some way, shape or form, but I get so frustrated when I can’t figure out the name of an obscure song that the minute I can, I try to look it up by using the one or two lines that I remember.  To me, solving these small, burning curiosities is one thing I’d keep the Internet around for.

To many people, the Internet is a form of self-discovery.  Among our chief pursuits on the Internet is an answer to the question: “What is our purpose in life?”  Well that’s no easy question, but maybe we can get started with a quiz from Quibblo, right?  The speed with which the Internet puts us in touch with the things we like, events, movies, and songs, can help us solidify our sense of self.  Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest help us share ideas and stay in touch with friends and family, distant and close.  Most of all, sites like DeviantArt and YouTube promote creativity, giving it a platform on which to present itself and perform/ make art happen.  The best examples of the growth that people undergo on these sites is best noticed by scrolling through the gallery page of DeviantArt artists or watching a bunch of YouTube videos by one person. It’s amazing watching someone’s artwork and style evolve over the years.  Similarly, old Youtube videos reveal different people at different times in their lives.  As time lapsed, the people changed as well, creating a small timeline for that person’s personality.  As we do with most things, we approach the Internet: wide-eyed, seeking answers.

Link to cvrcak1’s work: https://www.flickr.com/photos/29320956@N03/

A Domain of One’s Own