So today, for the second day in a row, I played my violin.
Whereas yesterday was like pulling teeth, today was (freakishly) … not.
For example–the violin did not willfully untune itself.
I remembered how to read the music I was looking at.
One piece I didn’t even try to play yesterday I took out to thumb through. It was a full orchestral score, so the violin part was teenyteenytiny along the top line. With my rapidly failing vision (sigh, publishing) I couldn’t read it at all. But I played my way (quite easily) through the whole (not so easy) piece. I have not played this piece at all in probably more than a decade.
It was like a trigger had gone off in my brain, and I suddenly had access to all this knowledge and muscle memory of ten, fifteen years ago. All knowledge I had thought was totally gone, since I’ve done nothing to deserve to retain it.
Makes you wonder about how the brain works. What else is kicking around up there.
Have you ever been completely flattened by a memory? This happens to me from time to time as an adult. I don’t have any, you know, clinically traumatizing suppressed memories (uh, at least not that I know of?); I’m just talking about the typical Thing that your mind hid from you for whatever reason. Something–often painful, stressful, sharp, or otherwise extreme–that had been a challenge when it happened, and maybe for a long time afterward, but had been COMPLETELY assimilated into my perseverant blob of consciousness and scabbed over. The Thing(s) one does not think about, etc. But then suddenly, for whatever strange reason, one does, and for a very short period of time it’s like the time hadn’t passed at all, there never was any scab.
I guess there are all kinds of cliches people use for this phenomenon (“it all came crashing back” etc). But at this moment cliches don’t make it any less phenomenal to me. Why would my brain block out any memory of being able to play this particular song on a violin? And why would it suddenly let me back into that memory right now?
And really. Really. What else is hiding up there? How do I get to it?