I’ve been thinking over the last couple days, since I’ve been sick and not practicing much, about why I might be feeling so dissatisfied. I started thinking about when I started feeling so discontent, which seems to have shed a little light on things. I was feeling fine while I was utterly failing at the new song I’ve been working on. The OMG-HOW-THE-HECK-DOES-ANY-ONE-PLAY-THIS phase was great. Then the next day it was suddenly the oh-that’s-how-this-is-so-damn-easy-why-was-I-having-trouble-in-the-first-place. By the next day the piece was memorized and I had the dynamics and articulation worked out how I wanted them. Normally this process takes a few weeks, largely with lots of struggle to get through each stage. Normally it’s filled with tons of frustration and I feel like I’m fighting every step of the way. Now this song, that seemed far harder than any other I’d played at first try, turned out to be so terribly un-challenging. That’s why I feel so dissatisfied!
Now, I’m sure everybody else would just love a song that magically learns itself and is actually too easy, but for me one of the things that attracted me to this instrument was that I believed it to be inherently difficult. I’m not happy when things aren’t difficult. My mind needs something to obsess over, something that I can’t for the life of me understand how I (or anyone else) could learn. But, I don’t like purely intellectual pursuits. One of the reasons I wanted to play an instrument in the first place was the physicality of it. I could, if I felt like it, pursue any number of academic or purely intellectual subjects, but I get too antsy just thinking and doing nothing with my body. I like thinking spatially and in the real world, not just inside my head.
So back to what I was saying: I want difficultly. Lots and lots of difficulty with the cello. Actually, I don’t want difficulty. I want impossibility. Give me a song I can’t learn and I will be satisfied forever because I really don’t give up! I find myself so envious of my teacher’s other, more advanced, students who are working on much more advanced pieces that they’ve spent the last 6 months tackling. I always come in a few minutes before my lesson and hear the tail end of Eleanor working on Danse Rustique by W.H. Squire and always wish that I could be working on that piece instead of some random excerpt of a real piece out of stupid Feuillard.
Somehow the days of OMG I’M NEVER GOING TO FIGURE THIS OUT have turned into the days of meh it’ll take a couple days. SO NOT COOL!