Nathaniel, my cross, and my love.

I was criticized a few days ago for not posting enough on my blog. It bothered me for days. Why couldn't I ignore the comment? Why don't I post? Why do I keep waiting?

I guess many times I don't post because I am afraid what I have to say is not good enough. As I write this, I realize that my excuse sounds funny. Why not leave it up to the readers to decide for themselves? Will my writing ever be good enough? Will it ever be acceptable?

Will it suffer the same fate of Nathaniel Cross, my first love?

This is the story of Nathaniel... my cello.

I started playing it when I was 11. I loved it. I practiced it, was inspired by it, wanted to get better at it. I remember the day, when I was a teen, when my father took my then boyfriend away from me because of my stupid behavior- in his eyes, that is... I was devastated.

I left Brazil to come to the US to study, improve, learn repertoire. I lived with families, got scholarships, worked as a cleaner, sitter, cook... whatever it took, just to stay in the US. I married Nathaniel.

My commitment to my love took me to festivals, concerts, competitions... and I started to lose sight of what had kept me going for so many years. My love became so unforgiving that I could not deal with it any longer. Spending time with him became a mental torture, and I hated carrying that Cross. How could I go from being able to spend day and night with him, to total, absolute intolerance?

I made mistakes during performances. I got sick, I got distracted, had memory slips, doubted myself. And I felt like a looser.

Why? why, why? Why could't I just keep going?

Of course I blamed it on my childhood. I blamed my parents, I blamed my upbringing. I am insecure because ____________. I am a loser because_______. I deserve to die because________________.

But blaming didn't really solve my problems with Nathaniel. It only left me with a small, crumpled up feeling deep inside. No matter how far I got through sheer hard work, when it came time to perform, I shot myself by tapping into that feeling of smallness and worthlessness. It worked great. Total failure. Until I realized it didn't.

Jump to yesterday. I was called to play, last minute, at St. Catherine's. I went into a big room, full of people. I started playing. And people started humming.

And I realized what had been bothering me for so many years. I had forgotten to connect. That is why I first started playing, years ago. To connect. Connect with people, connect with myself. I had forgotten why, when playing, I'd learn to raise my chest. It wasn't to produce the right sound, the right notes, in order to win the competition. Fuck no. It was to connect, to literally ''open my heart'' and sing. Reach, share.

That is why I burned out.

My heart wasn't there any longer. No heart, no reason for being. For playing, for writing, for running, climbing, cooking, studying... living.

I have realized that when I am connected, present, and my heart is there... that is enough for me. And how do I know that?

Because it feels right.

No comments: