The Song of My Soul


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The Song of My Soul

  1. 1. The Song of My Soul, Lerato. “Amazing…” I whispered. I turned my head following the lyrical melody to its origin. Fluidly, my whole body swiveled to its direction, as if there were an invisible gravitational force, beginning to reel me into a deep uplifting trance. My eyes flickered to the center of the stage where I saw the music had emanated from a fragile wooden instrument, a violin. Beautifully, its surface gleamed with ardent enthusiasm. Dominant sounds projected and resonated out of its seemingly small prefecture with crystal clarity throughout the entire room. There, I stood motionless; unmoving, amidst the powerful melody, astounded. The sound was so prominent and so audible even with the careless smashing of the bass drums. The slight interference gently cascaded into the background as I concentrated on the crisp martelé notes of each stroke the bow had manifested. The rhythm was so perfect and so articulated. Gracefully, its bow extended outward, transforming the sound into sweet long legato notes that flowed like dripping honey in the most precious, delicate manner. Certainly I could forever adore the harmonious ringing, perfection of notes, and versatility of the violin. Yet… there was something more magnificent then the sound itself. It was its creator. Slowly, I shifted my gaze from the instrument to its player. Transitioning my eyes to a new focal point, I distinguished a pulsating figure moving out and about on the stage’s floor. What I saw then on had captivated me, and refused to release. It was a boy, clearly only a few years older than I, who paced the stage floor engrossed with his music. It was a breathtaking sight. Lean body build. Long wavy black hair. Eyes tightly shut. It was palpable just by the way his body gracefully flowed that he was in his own world, a world that transcended beyond ours. The way his slender body elongated at forte and caved in at pianissimo at the slightest change of dynamic had created explosive climaxes. It was how he and the violin intertwined, and were completely in sync with one another. How he had such authority and ability to command what sounds were to escape the sounding point of the boxed instrument. Evermore, my amazement laid by the fact that the inanimate instrument was not only given a divinely beautiful tonal voice, but life through the vitality and fiery passion that its owner’s spirit held. With that, I felt a shared thrill of ecstasy as the music he created with his own finger tips radiated through the entire room and continued to wrap around my inner soul. It was clear that the instrument was but a type of musical medium.
  2. 2. What he and his instrument had was more than just a mutualistic symbiotic relationship. He played with his heart and in turn, the violin’s melody expressed it to the world around it. Encompassed by true virtuoso-like playing, I closed my eyes, and savored each note, hoping that in some meta-physical manner, the memory of the sounds would be forever recorded vividly in my heart. And forever I prayed it would stay. “……………” My concentration wavered as a voice called out to me. “Aria?” I lifted my heavy eye-lids from enchantment and blinked, slightly annoyed by the interruption. Sara stared at me with questioning eyes that were followed by a sheepish grin. I jerked backwards while she intently studied me. She was definitely deliberating whether or not to accuse me of some type of idiotic blasphemy. “In love?” I exhaled calmly, somewhat relieved at the confirmation of my fears. “Not like that.” I finally answered, trying hard to search for some conviction in myself while unsuccessfully hiding my millisecond long grimace. Sara raised her eyebrow signifying a slight playful disbelief. I stared back at her in utmost seriousness yet she smiled, and nodded, letting it go. “Lerato Nathans. It’s his name,” Sara motioned to the stage. “You’ve got some aggressive competition ahead of you next year…” she warned. “You also have Anthony biting your ass.” “Mr. Soloist can keep biting as long as I get that fucking chair,” I said royally pissed. She thoughtfully paused. “That’s not very pretty language for an accomplished lady full of prestige,” she finally mocked, leading me into the hall. I bit my lip, feeling ashamed at my unconscious outburst. Anthony was quite an interesting one. He’s the type that would vibrato every single individual note just for the sake of professionalism, even when it wasn’t… appropriate? Some could call him the perfectionist, the ass-kisser, or just childishly naïve. He was a nice boy, I didn’t have anything against him, and rarely did I ever have on anyone, but this was a special occasion, an occasion where I couldn’t help myself, to my embarrassment. I hated feeling this way. Light silence filled the air as I let my thoughts wander as I walked out of the auditorium. I held my breath before asking Sara this question: “Sara, next year… do you think I’m capable of surpassing… Lerato?” My lips quivered as I enunciated his name for the first time.
  3. 3. Feeling flustered and vulnerable, I hadn’t noticed a shocked pair of eyes gawking at me. Not until a disgruntled sigh left her mouth that translated utter in disgust, had I realized she was speaking to me. “Wow Aria, don’t you get all cocky just now that you’re first chair this season. You’re a good violinist but trying itself isn’t enough to beat THAT,” she replied severely incredulous and irritated at the idea. I winced. “It’s important to know where you stand, at least,” she lectured. “Yeah, sorry,” I laughed vacantly, attempting to hide my scarred ego by the frankness of her statement. Sara carelessly smiled. “I’ll see you tomorrow then,” and waved. See you tomorrow… I looked up at the stage and then at him and started thinking, thinking very hard. After seeing and listening to Lerato play, it became quite evident that I’ve been constantly repeating the same mistakes. What I’ve been missing, moreover, what I’ve actually lost over the past years, was the most crucial element in the art of instrument playing. Passion. Such a small word, but is filled meaning; Passion gives life and purpose to everything. Just like standing in a room full of cold looking strangers, I was afraid, and so lost. The warm feeling of accomplishment and encouragement I felt from the past was replaced with the aggressive vigor of competition. This sudden new foreign territory blinded me to what mattered most. I had lost the purity of my motives, which soiled my playing, as well as my confidence. Being the best continued to haunt my thoughts and penetrate my dreamless nights. The pressure and changes that took place right in front my eyes had created a blurred, indistinguishable road where I overlooked my true purpose, and constricted the essence of my music. These barely audible, horrid mime-like notes that leaked out my violin, so accurate yet so unbearably dull always made me wonder what changed in me. As I thought back to the precious memories of the past, where the sounds that escaped of my instrument were always lively and authentic, I remembered I played solely because I loved to; I knew deep down I truly loved the instrument more than anything, else in the world.
  4. 4. Looking back on that day, Lerato was the reason why I slowly began to heal my wounds, and purify my motives. He was that soft air of melody that made me remember, that small nudge from behind the lines that reminded me the very reason I played. Most of all, he was someone I sought to become. The passion that pulsated out of his very being was not a mirage. He was someone so real, so alive, and so tangible. He was someone… “Someone so easy to love.”