Outside the Lines of the Sheet Music Pages

How music had had an impact on someone’s life, translated…

The year I turned nineteen, I’d conquered the musical notes, with the strength of conquering Mt. Everest, because of my older cousin who was studying in N.T.U., I’d had another level of understanding of it…

The Musical Adventures of My Childhood Years

At age six, the group of us in kindergarten hopped scotch, but instead, I’d stayed indoors, and treated the black and white keys, as well as the lined sheet music as my toys instead.

With the years of taking lessons increased, I’m like a young calf, no longer just satisfied by the pastures I was grazing on anymore, wanted to run even farther off, to find another possibility for myself.  And so, other than the practice classical pieces that my instructor had assigned to me, I’d started trying out those more upbeat music, started with the sonatas to new classics, and the pieces played by Richard Clayderman, all became my practice pieces.

And still, the result of my childish adventures are half and half.  What I gained the most about this period of experimentation was, that I’d opened up a door for myself toward popular music, when I was in the fourth grade, the Chinese romance writer’s books were televised into primetime soap operas, I’d hummed the theme song, and written down the notes of the music, and a lot of my classmates had asked me for the copies of the sheet music I’d written out, and I’d met more good friends.  What was worse, was that I’d gotten too intrigued by the flowery ways of playing the music, it’d made my hand a bit deformed, I now have, a pair of large hands that weren’t in the right ratio with my body, and, my classmates always joked on how I got a pair of farmer’s hands.

On the year I’d turned nineteen, my understanding of music was taken to a brand new level, because of my older cousin who studied in N.T.U.

My cousin is the only son, from an all-star middle school, to the most famous, all-boys high school, all the way to National Taiwan University, he’d had a smooth ride to the top academically, plus my uncle and aunt are both in high-up positions in their work, he’d had a good life.  But, when he was in his last year of high school, my uncle died by accident, and when he was a sophomore in university, my aunt was diagnosed with cancer, and she’d passed away too, in just no more than two short years, he’d lost both his parents, it was hitting him even harder, made him, who wasn’t at all, that social, even MORE isolated.  At which time, I was just, coming up north for school, I was just one year younger than he was, and, in the urging and begging of my relatives, I’d become, his roommate.

We’d taken up tennis lessons together, learned to ride motorcycles, and, go to church every once in a while, because his professor and his wife knew what had happened in the family, hoped that he could get involved, and become more social again, in order to show gratitude toward his professor, whenever we got the time, we’d gone to the church activities.  Naturally it wasn’t, at all, always smooth going, as his roommate either, for instance, if I’d not placed something in its rightful place, he’d started lecturing me, and, I’d rebutted, by cranking up the music even louder.

Writing the Emotions that Nobody Knows About Using the Notes

After a semester, my cousin went from locking his bedroom doors completely to having his doors half-opened.  One night, I’d carried some midnight snacks home, he, who was somewhat anal asked me, “Do you want to come into my room to hear some music?”, that’s real odd, the room that the cleaning lady couldn’t even enter into, I’d get an invitation?  Without a second word, I’d carried the stewed meats in one hand, drinks in the other, ran into his room, found me a seat, and started, chowing down.

As we’d eaten, and talked, I’d realized, that the radio was playing the same song over and over, the singer had a full voice, and her tone’s quality made the melody feel even lonelier.  “What’s this song called?  Nobody Knows?”  “You’ve heard it?  The singer, Tony Rich………”, my cousin hollered, he couldn’t believe, that his younger girl cousin who’s somewhat a hillbilly, who’s totally careless, can have the same tastes in music as he.  I’d told him, because there’s high repetition in the lyrics, it would be hard, to not remember.  He’d nodded, hinting, that I’d guessed it right, then, he’d continued, “you know what, if you keep your heart in a diary, then, someone will peek into it for sure, but, writing your emotions with music, there’s no way of losing, only you alone will know it.”

Wow!  So, music can manage to continue oneself from the present to the past too, that is something I’d never considered, I’d given him a thumbs up, “You are, an engineer!”  Other than my curiousness, I’d started listening to the lyrics, “I pretend that I’m glad you went away/These four walls closing more every day/And I’m dying inside/And nobody knows it but me.”

Looking at my cousin, sitting with his back towards me, I’d felt this sourness, rushing up from my heart, my dearest cousin, you still had a ton of things left unsaid to auntie, don’t you?

In not knowing, I’d taken after my older cousin’s ways, of recording my life down with the songs: Hsin-Jie Lee’s “Freedom” expressed this false sense of freedom I’d felt when I broke up; Je-Ching Chu’s “Sister’s Drum” roused up this uneasiness that I’d felt, as I was about to graduate, and enter into the workforce, turned me into a backpacker, to Tibet, leading me to believe, that that, was the exit to my own life; CNBLUE’s “Try Again, Smile Again”, helped me through the tortured darkness of the game of money and power at work. And, Huei Jiang’s “Asking the Gods” helped me express the difficulties of choosing between my own parents, and my career…

The candles on the cake is closing in, to forty, and now, I’d played the pianos, not for the sake of conquering anything, and, played the music, not for the purpose of getting the lost memories back again, I’d just, enjoyed the simple notes that were connected.

And so, you can see the maturation process of this woman, of how the purpose of music had changed, as she matured, became of age, and, how music played a vital role for her and someone she loved and cared about, and that, is the power of music, you don’t necessarily need to understand the words, but, just listen to the melodies…

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Filed under Because of Love, Being Alone, Connections, Coping Mechanisms, Cost of Living, Expectations, Family Matters, Healing Process, Hobbies/Pasttimes, Interpersonal Relations, Letting Go, Life, Loneliness/Solitude, Loss, Observations

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