It has been a fair amount of time since I last published my thoughts on the blog. And the exercise of physically recording and organizing my thoughts through writing has taken an equally long break. I could claim that this lapse was necessary (a cause not to be kept up with while preparing repertoire for full faculty juries, taking a new load of students, serving in a leadership role in an extra-curricular organization, and enjoying the shenanigans of preforming with Light Horse Harry weekly), but I feel I also lost many opportunities for self expression.
This year has provided ample opportunity for self insight, growth, general education. A few highlights: traveling to Kenya, Fort Worth, the Austin Greenbelt, learning the Haydn Violin Concerto from start to finish, living in an on campus dorm (with my best friend!), writing a piano sonata, learning from Dr. Scott, Kathleen Winkler, Katie Lansdale, co-directing the buddy program, re-positioning a backwards violin bridge, training with a mediation expert, enjoying Sangria with a new set of girlfriends, playing in a Mozart opera, hanging in a hammock in the park with a new boyfriend interest, hearing Philip Glass performed live, hearing Sufjan Stevens, Railroad Earth, Punch Brothers, Conspirare, watching the collaboration of UT Dance, Theater, Music, and Visual Art schools, and teaching the same students for an entire year, watching the way they individually develop. My heart hurts considering all of the experiences that have already departed from conscious memory.
Now is the time, though, to return to this space. To return to my memories, to return to intentional self reflection, and to return to this blog. The hum of summer, with warmth and sun seeping into my pores, slow practice conditioning my fingers, and gentle exploration filling my days, is the perfect period to return to my habit of blogging.
As my hands rest on the keys of my keyboard, I notice the power lying underneath the ‘return’ key. Aligned with the ‘delete’ and ‘shift’ keys, ‘return’ authorizes a fresh start, a clean transition from one idea to the next, and the peace of spacial clarity.
I find that breaks, and the return to my work thereafter, infuse my work with new life. After returning to my violin upon arrival back in the states from my trip to Kenya, my hands were shaky, uncertain, and timid. Within a few days time, I was able to recalibrate my technique and enthusiastically approach my repertoire for the spring semester. As I embark on my next journey, a pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral, I am counting on the time away from my instrument to mark the end of the hard work and stress of the spring and the beginning of my return to the slow, steady study of the violin throughout the summer.
Finally, with this return to the blog (and free time on hand) I will be experimenting with a new strategy of publishing inspired by Austin-based-traveling-minimalist-blogger Tynan. He writes a blog daily, and weekly publishes his two best pieces. I will do something similar for the next 90 days. It is a return I am thoroughly looking forward to.