Sunday, December 04, 2005


Yesterday my memories tortured me. For some reason, one I still can not identify, I was tormented all day by the scenes that flashed through my mind's eye. From childhood, which I left behind many years ago, ghosts attacked me relentlessly. My mood was foul. I wanted to disappear. I snapped at anyone who spoke to me. I am hoping today will be better. It snowed last night, and I love the snow, and I just want some peace. When I think about those stories, the truth of them, it is a wonder that I am functional at all. And it is no surprise that I battle depression and its antithesis, mania, constantly. I should be thankful for any balance that comes my way.


But don't misread me. I don't spend day after day sunk into a black fog. I have great powers of self-preservation, and I slog on bravely. I try not to let myself become trapped. This is why I use my imagination. Maybe one becomes an artist--or the reason so many artists come from unhappy childhoods--because one's own imagination provides a way to create an ideal world, one that does not cause suffering or pain.

* * * * *

During my second year of grad school I had my first "big" performance. The piece performed had already won a prestigious international prize, and for the first time I had real confidence in my potential as a composer. My mother could not come to Chicago (my father and brother did) but she sent me flowers.

Later, visiting her in Pennsylvania, I played her a recording of the piece. "Why is your music so angry?" she asked.

I did not know what to say. I told her it was not angry to me. I was telling the truth. To me it was beautiful.

looking northeast

1 comment:

Tristin said...

Beautiful. It's hard to be honest with your art sometimes. When I write I find myself censoring thoughts to paper, afraid of how someone/people can misconstrue things. I'd love to hear some of your pieces.