June 5, 2017

Piece by Piece: Vintage Velvet Top + Reflections

vintage velvet top outfit
vintage velvet top outfit
vintage velvet top outfit
Velvet top, vintage market | Button-down, thrifted | Skirt, Forever 21
Photos by Yihao and Esse

It’s been a month and a half.

1.5 months, and my calluses have smoothed over, no longer a distraction from my ragged nails.

1.5 months, and the physical traces of a 10-year passion have faded away.

The skin on my left fingertips looks so foreign when so smooth. The delicate lines of my fingerprints are now discernible, no longer disfigured by the arduous hours of waltzing upon vibrating silver strings.

My violin case sits in the nook between my desk and wardrobe, upright and unobtrusive. My music stand has become a makeshift clothes rack, often adorned with a summer top or silky chemise.

I forget they’re there sometimes. I barely recall the deep resonance that fueled the countless rehearsals, the daily screech sessions, that whole decade of my life. And sometimes, I even forget that all of this was once indispensable.

I would’ve been appalled in another life; another Lily wouldn’t have approved.

She wanders into my dreams sometimes, orchestrating nightmares. Violin is no longer part of my reality, but it consumes my sleep world. I struggle through rehearsals, I arrive at important auditions having not practiced in months…

I awaken unsettled. Yet I still feel no inspiration to play again.

She used to fantasize about her life without violin. What would it be like to regain the weekly 10-15 hours of rehearsal and personal practice? What would it be like to be able to attend the events that always conflicted with orchestra? 

She brushed the thoughts away. Violin was part of who she was, or at least who she thought she should be.

But I was ready for a change. During a brawl with my parents on postgraduation plans, I realized that external expectations too often directed my life. So this time, I took charge.

I realized the ideas I had entertained but had suppressed: I got my helix pierced. I cut and dyed my hair (photos before this change). I gave up violin--and took up other creative pursuits.  

Will I pick my instrument up again? The answer is indefinite. All I know is this: piece by piece, I'm constructing who I want to be, and that’s enough for now.
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P.S. We've just launched the project I mentioned in my previous post--please take a gander at Thank You for the Tragedy, a vision for a collection of atypical love essays. It's a chance for personal love tragedies to become catharsis and resonance. We're calling for creative writers and hope you'll contribute and spread the word!

Also, apologies for my absence in my normal blogroll--I'll catch up on my reading as soon as I can!

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