playing the cello

My ONE and ONLY public performance.

When I started writing, my first love was poetry. I wrote poems because I could capture ideas, feelings, and emotions on one page. Books, on the other hand, are really long and take a LOT more work. So, in honor of the days when I could complete an entire first draft in less than an hour, here’s a poem for National Poetry Month. After you finish, I recommend you go out and read something by Billy Collins. He’s wonderful.
A little background for this poem: I once took cello lessons. I think it’s an absolutely gorgeous instrument and while those piano lessons I took as a kid didn’t pan out, I figured wanting to learn to play would give me a leg up this time around.
And it did. But you can only get so far by grit alone. I eventually ran up against an utter lack of natural talent and so, set the instrument aside. Sometimes, you just have to let go but I’m still really glad I tried.
Watching Yo Yo Ma
wring a symphony
from four thin strings,
I think of the cello
sitting idle in my closet
behind a wedding gown
and a sack of old clothes.
I was not made for music,
no matter how my hands
itch to wield a bow,
to sing a mellow song
that vibrates deep
in my soul. I feel
music hiding there,
but my fingers refuse
to pluck it out.
It seems there are many
things I wasn’t made to do,
though I often nurture
the seeds of longing.
This garden of mine is weedy,
rabbits nibble tender leaves.
Still, I’ll scatter handfuls
of seed to see what grows.
And then . . .
. . . I’ll make music of that.