Music did not feature largely in my previous home. By this I do not mean to imply that there was none, for that would be an outright lie. When I had the house to myself, I would tentatively practise my violin and my lad – a far better musician than I will ever be – went through his repertoire on guitar and trumpet.
But the Great God Television – which had a central spot in the Living Room and in my ex’s heart – took precedence. Allied with an attitude of disdain for my musical taste and performance.
Thus, I shut myself away and listened very quietly to CDs, played rarely and always with a sense of inner muffling and shame.
Now? Ah! Now, my home is full of music. Instruments lie in most rooms: Two violins, one of them electric, a viola, guitars, an ornamental family mandolin, a tenor recorder, its treble sibling, half a dozen descant little sisters and loads of records and CDs. The Boy keeps his trumpet at his father’s domicile so that he can access it speedily for band rehearsals and the like.
I did think, very seriously, about bringing the piano with me – but, as stated in a previous post, it was too large – and so I gave it to friends.
Since late December, I have had the delight of resuming my musical life. Music has always been a vital means of expression for me, and I have been listening to records since early childhood. The freedom to pick up any instrument at any time, and to play it with confidence, rather than crippled and fearful inhibition, has been so lovely that I still pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming. Pushing through the scar tissue left by my ex’s feelings of humiliation and embarrassment at my musical abilities (or lack thereof, in his eyes) has been much harder, however, and I still cannot bring myself to join in with public events such as local Open Mic evenings.
But I am getting bolder, getting more confident. I had such a magical afternoon about ten days ago, when close friends came for lunch and we spent the post-prandial potential slump listening, with great and nostalgic pleasure, to records from our combined student days! The Who, Patti Smith, the Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac: Need I go on?!
Now, I can listen without fear, play with joy. I do watch the television, but it is not the God Form it was in my old home. In truth, I spend much of my down time, my relaxation moments, soaking music blissfully up into my very pores. If I feel so inclined – and it has been known! – I can pick up a recorder, whilst waiting for something to cook, and blast away, in the kitchen, going through my repertoire (which is catholic and eclectic), twiddly bits and all, as sauces bubble and the dog looks pained.
Or, equally heavenly, I can curl up, a human prawn in my big armchair, and luxuriate in the sounds of all my favourite tracks! Ah, bliss!