Today I have had a fantastic birthday. I was privileged to spend it with people I love, doing the job I love doing. I have spent a fair amount of time today with my boyfriend, my co-interns, my internship director, and the patients who so wonderfully welcome me into their lives. Not only this, but I received numerous phone calls and cards from friends and family members. I am so fortunate.
One of the gifts I was given was six pairs of tickets to the Minnesota Orchestra. This particular gift is not only thoughtful, given that I am a musician (oh, how hard it is to identify myself as this-- we'll get to that later), but entirely timely and relevant. What an important present.
I started playing violin when I was two years old, and played for hours each week from that time in my life to my early 20s. In college, I stopped playing. I was burnt out. I didn't understand why I was playing, or for whom. I grew up playing a musical instrument, but wasn't making music with it. I wasn't able to see the violin for what it could be-- a tool through which I could express. In music therapy, we consider our musical instruments as tools, and music itself as a tool, to enable us to reach our clients and patients by using it in whatever fashion necessary. When I grew up playing violin, I was not able or given space to infuse the instrument with anything other than the sense of obligation I had toward it. I think of my violin now as a character in my life, a family member. I think of it now as someone, and I do mean "someone," with whom I grew up; someone who saw me through a number of life changes, as I am experiencing now. My violin is important to me for so many reasons, but only very recently have I identified it as being another range of my voice. Only recently have I given myself permission to melt together my violin-playing-self with my identity as I regularly see it, and only recently have I enjoyed welcoming that part of my life as one with other(s). Having been given opportunity to see the orchestra on a regular basis seems ever-important to me in my growing this part of myself. I doubt a more serendipitous gift could ever be given.
Thanks for reading.