Sadhvi Swaminathan


I raise my bow above the string,
My eyes trained on the beginning of the music.
My fingers shifted back and forth, toying with the notes they had been trained for hours to play just for this moment.

My blood pulsed through my veins like the Amazon River,
It roared in my ears with the terrifying thought of what I had to do.
My fingers settled as my heart dropped to the deep depths of Tartarus.

My bow touched the string and my eyes closed.
The Amazon River coursing through my veins slowed to a gentle trickle.
As my fingers shifted into position for the next measure, I was no longer myself.
I lived on a cloud of dreams and my soul spun freely within me.

My arm swung passionately across the strings,
I relieved the weight of myself into my violin, each swing of the bow taking off some pressure.

A small tear traced my cheek on the path back to reality.

Within seconds, the cloud of aspiration and hope in which I had lived,
Then thundered down my deflating soul.
As I pulled my violin from my shoulder,
The weight of reality came crashing back to me.

My brain relished one last memory of my playing,
Only to critique rather than relish,
As my violin was tucked under my arm.

The applause stormed from all sides of the room,
Stampeding my ears and trampling my soul,
Shattering the silence in which I mourned the end of the piece which let me soar.

I arose from the bow I had taken,
To the perfect score awaiting me from the judges.
Yet, my joy was absent as I felt only myself,
Where there should have been joy, only anger and emptiness resided.

How could they judge my blissful haven?
How could they judge the music which carried me away into a land of my own?

I longed for music with my every breath.

The music plays the tune of my soul.
It courses through my veins and pumps my heart.

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