I recently went to the Utah Fiddlin and Pickin Contest.
Eight hours of beautiful folk music: guitars, banjos, mandolins, harmonicas, and fiddles.
I have loved the violin as long as I can remember. (Actually, I think I've loved it longer than I can remember. I asked my mom about the first time I told her I wanted to play the violin. I was two.)
In therapy, one of the suggestions was to go back to a time that was good. With eating disorders, it is often before the eating disorder started. My eating disorder developed when I was fourteen, but I have struggled with self-hatred and self harm since I was five. My earliest memories are around the same time. I don't know what it was like before I hated myself.
Listening to these people of all ages play, I had a memory of something I can't remember. (I know I just contradicted myself. It is what it is...) I still don't remember anything before age five. My first memory is still praying for my grandma to live and knowing that she wouldn't.
And... sitting there... with the music playing... I remember my earliest feeling: I want that. That instrument is somehow a part of me, and I need to learn to play it. I felt like crying and laughing at the same time. That instrument holds so much joy for me. My love for the violin is one of the few pieces of me that I know existed... before everything else became a part of me.
I started to play when I was eight. A lot of scales. Twinkle Twinkle. Scratchy, screechy, and not very pretty. I remember the first time I felt like I was playing music: I was thirteen-ish. But even then, violin had become just another way to try to be "good enough". And trying to play while being completely out of touch with emotions was almost impossible. So, I put it away. I didn't touch the bow for nearly twelve years.
Playing now is SO different. I'm not saying I'm good - I'm saying I LOVE it. It's a part of me. A part that I know was me before any of the crap.
Here is me, playing "Bile 'em Cabbage Down". I have loved playing this since I was a teenager. I memorized it then, and it stayed in my memory even though I didn't play or practice for years.
I think my favorite part of the video is when my bow gets moving too fast, and I can't keep up with myself. :) There are times when I can play this song a lot better than I did, but I really like this version... enjoy!