Monday, December 1, 2008

Just this thought.

Imagine you are a virtuoso of some sort, a master of the violin, or the piano. Imagine that you are presented with an incredible gift, the rarest and most valuable instrument in creation. It is priceless. It is a spectacular beauty, a craftwork beyond any comparison. You love it, you cherish it beyond description. It is yours, without any rival to lay claim to it. But you cannot make it play. You do everything that you have always done. Your hands and mind do all that they have ever known to do, and yet you can not manipulate the instrument, cannot make it bend to your will.

Sometimes when you attempt to play it, it is mute; sometimes, it plays all on its own. Most maddening of all, when your feeble attempts at creation do elicit some sound from the thing, you hear the sweetest sound imaginable, the richest timbre of voice, the wildest expression of passion and creativity and art. But you are unable to tame it. There is little relation between your efforts and the music. This inability consumes you. It dampens your confidence in your abilities. Yet you could never even dream of picking up another instrument... even if you did, just to prove that you are still a master, it would only serve to remind you of the one that you can not control. Your prize, your cherished one, the perfect vessel for your expression, the only caliber of instrument any longer worth playing, remains firmly in your hands and yet beyond your reach. You are surely ruined, unless you can make it play; then, and only then, you will be untouchable, a god. Your art may be lost to you forever, but it will burn inside you as long as the instrument remains in your care, willing enough to be handled but perhaps never to be mastered.

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