In Which She Examines The Current Void (And It Probably Evaluates Her As Well)

So my comment spam these days tends to be mortgage and loan related. Ah, keyword searches. Why do I never get exciting cello spam when I drone on about music?

I’m sore all over today from the whiplash the life speed bump we hit yesterday. I know, I know; physical reaction to mental/emotional trauma. Who’d have thought? Fibro aside… well, no, fibro’s part of it, because I’m so drained I can’t bounce back properly. Still. Also, it sucks that therapeutic crying exhausts me. It’s a lose-lose situation.

I was looking forward to rehearsal last night, both to distract me and because I’ve done a lot of cello work this week. Except that exhaustion thing? I muffed things I can do in my sleep, and it was like a bad dream about dominoes or a house of cards: every time the celli were asked to work on a portion of music I got less accurate and dropped out more. Even on the easy stuff. And I sank deeper and deeper into that unavoidable self-loathing/numb detached headspace and general grumpiness at the world, because gods damn it, I practised this stuff, and I played it well at home. Not that it seems to make a difference when I’m playing where and when it counts, and especially not when the conductor turns around and is right in front of me to lead the celli. I just can’t do it at full speed, and it’s really, really frustrating me. We played through one of the hard parts I’d worked on my a lesson a couple of weeks ago and at the end my teacher leaned over and poked me with her bow with an approving nod. I shook my head, and I was so depressed at the end of the night that she sat there and gave me a pep talk. She reminded me of how I work within the rhythm, always being on the beat in hard passages, that I drop the right notes to drop in a run if I can’t get them all, and how I’m in sync with her bow changes. The left hand will get there, she said. She reminded me of how far I’ve come in a year, two years, and I realised that I could probably handle Scheherazade now without the problems I’d had last year. (The Hebrides overture, well, no, and there are some very similar runs in the Reformation symphony, it occurs to me now, damn you for being a pianist, Mendelssohn.) She pointed out that I drop a lot less than I would have dropped before, which is true. I appreciated the pep talk, but it didn’t lift my gloom entirely.

There’s that not-comforting-at-all adage that “What does not kill you makes you stronger,” and you know what? Maybe you don’t die, and maybe you do get life experience from all the crap, but when you have fibro it doesn’t actually make you stronger. It just keeps eroding you, bit by bit. On the other hand, it’s certainly character-forming.

I read a terrific spinning-related metaphor this morning from The Crafty Rabbit, though:

[F]ulling is a pretty good metaphor for life. You’re all ugly and uneven and imperfect and full of little bits of hay. Then you get beaten up–tossed from hot to cold, agitated with a plunger, smacked against a table. And then it turns out, after all that, that the abuse has smoothed you out, rendered you shiny and resilient. You’re still imperfect, yes, and you’re beautiful.

Fulling is the process whereby yarn or cloth gets cleaned and transformed or locked into its final form, for the lack of a better description. Some cloths felt when you do this (usually intentionally) and some yarn will, too, if you’re not wholly careful. Part of what you try to do with yarn, though, is shock it so that it plumps up and the scales on the fibre catch one another to make a stronger strand. You can’t turn a worsted-weight woollen-spun Coopworth yarn into laceweight silk by this method, but you can smooth out your Coopworth skein, plump it up, and make it stronger and nicer to touch.

It’s a good life metaphor, but this particular Coopworth skein (read: me) is tired of the fulling process and would just like to hang in the sun. Failing that, to stay in the hot bath with nice smelling soap, and have the cold immersion baths and furious agitation stop for a while.

One thought on “In Which She Examines The Current Void (And It Probably Evaluates Her As Well)

  1. Pasley

    It is a good metaphor, but I still wish that we could just skip the abuse that life puts us through and get to—and bloody stay with, fer crap sake—the good stuff.

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