Almost Halloween and it made my day to receive happy updates on my phone of my friend and her little girl, who is enjoying pumpkins and so many other new experiences, this being her second Halloween and first to really begin the fun of the holiday.
This is just a small thing, but a big big thing really, that makes my day better, set against a backdrop of chaos and endless information.
So much else goes through my head and my mind. It’s like that line parents and elders often find themselves speaking about children and the younger generation: “everything I say to them just seems to go in one ear and out the other, like they aren’t even listening”.
Are we listening?
So much in the news and going on in the world, so much info for me to hear, that I can’t possibly retain everything that comes across my path.
Lately I’ve felt like I can’t live up to the things I’m attempting, for some people, as if I’m not getting it fast enough or in the time they’ve allowed in their own heads, so I may not be getting the hang of it and, to some, should maybe just throw in the towel.
Perhaps this is all mostly going on inside my mind. Maybe it’s not that bad. It could be that they don’t think this at all. But I feel it, from them or from myself, or a little of both.
I try to block out all other things when I am in that practice room. For one hour I don’t let myself think or worry or fret over anything else that would otherwise dog my every waking thought. None of that when I am with my violin and while I have the undivided attention from the one who knows it and is trying to teach me.
I focus so hard on her words and her instructions, on the notes and the strings and the proper techniques, so hard that my mind aches. It’s not just the headaches or the usual body pains I feel, but rather my mind physically stretching to try and accommodate these new things. Sometimes, I feel I hear and understand her so clearly, but other times I fear her wisdom goes in one ear and out the other with me. I fear I’ve just wasted an entire sixty minutes of her precious time.
I wonder how much more would weigh me down if I could see, so those things that went in one of my ears and out the other, straight through my often swirling brain, would have to keep up with what my eyes were also taking in.
I can’t say how that would work. I may never know.
I just want to think of the stories surrounding Halloween as fun and games, but I think of ghosts and those who are no longer hear. I think of the world we’re facing in the glaring absence of those people.
I think of pipelines. I think of refugee crisis stories. These are real lives and people debate them as if they were theories taught in a classroom somewhere. I think of what I just saw on a news documentary, about the famous family because some of it’s members didn’t survive the boat trip. Canada is home to some of them now. Iraq is home to others, who can’t bear to be away from where their loved ones are buried. I think of the fight going on in Iraq and Syria still. Will families who’ve had to flee for their lives ever get to return home again?
Will the wild war of words and opinions and so much more in the US ever settle down? Will Canadian government live up to all their campaign promises? Does any government?
Questions which I come to on my own and those that I hear and learn about, I take them in, even if I think of that Halloween episode on The Simpsons when Bart is attacked by the little people Lisa invented in a plastic tub, which come upon him in the night, shooting in through his one ear and going through his brain and out the other.
I saw this image so clearly when it first aired back in 1998, but now exists only in my memory.
Do we hear today’s real issues? Do they make an impression? Do they touch us? Do they cause us to stand up and act? Or are we so used to hearing so much that it all just flies in one ear and out the other?
All these things turn my insides out on a daily basis. I must focus on creating things. Art. Beautiful music and words and building things that didn’t exist before.