Giving up the art
Author: Ella

Chapter 14
untrained

the familiar tune drifted to me again. it lulled me towards the window and i peeped out into my neighbour's house. the curtains were half drawn and i could see cyrilla's silhouette on the wall. her slim silhouette of a young girl with a violin in her hands. all i could see was the darkened shadow of my friend. i could not see her expression as she played but all these years i never could see it and i suppose that is what made me want to be like her. i never knew how much heartache music could bring. step into their tormented world of competitiveness. i did not want such a world. but music portrayed itself as such a beautiful pleasure that would never fail to sooth a saddened soul. yet how wrong was i. i did not think i was wrong for though she had told me how bad things were, i never got to see that pained expression on her face. all i saw was the silhouette of a beautiful girl playing the most tuneful melody. but i barely heard. i only watched.

my gaze flickered to my mother. she was sitting poised at the table, typing. her hands flying over the keyboard. it was so different from the way cyrilla played her violin, slow and relaxed. yet, truly i have never felt what it was like before. what was needed to achieve such great art. that i did not have.

i moved away from the window and stared out into the city. the view was breathtaking. i dreamed of painting that picture down that i might always recall how lovely it was, but if only i could paint. cyrilla had told me once that the melodies she played every day were fatally flawed. but i refuse to believe her. how could it be that it sounds perfect and be flawed at the same time. and i always thought she was just too humble. then one day, i came to know, only a trained ear could hear those mistakes. and i came to realise that i would never be able to tell them apart. was it a good thing that i everything sounded beautiful to me? or was it better to be able to judge a good piece from a bad one? if everything were beautiful, then it would be able to bring me much joy, but if i could tell every little mistake, surely i would spend more time dwelling over corrections than enjoying it. i figured i was blessed in a way that i could not tell the difference.

"if you can't hear your mistakes, you will never improve." i had heard cyrilla's teacher telling her. and i agreed. it was true. maybe that was why i can never make it. i was contented with having everything sound perfect. i was contented with too little. but isnt that true joy? being contented with the little that you have? now, i wanted more. i wanted to be able to hear those flaws, but even if i could hear them, how can i bring myself to tell cyrilla all her mistakes? for that melody that drifted through for so many years, was too beautiful, too practised to criticise. surely effort was something worth rewarding.

 

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