Friday, November 14, 2008

I'll see you in December

Where should I begin?

For eight years, I've been playing in an ensemble of guzhengs. Every Saturday, my mom would drive me out, fifty miles away, to practice. There are six of us. All the other girls are far younger than me, so, when I left for college, I was the first.

My instrument and my group has been an incredibly integral part of my life. I really cannot fully put into words all the work, the literal sweat and tears, the love, the bonds, the time, the money I put into this. For eight years, we built something up. We (or at least I) passionately spilled everything out on those strings, we cemented our relationships. I'm sure we had hundreds of performances, some much, much better than others. Oh my gosh, it's overwhelming, how much we all put into this group.

So, being the first one to leave, with the others having a couple years before they are ever required to think about moving out, I figured, yes, I will be a bit left behind, and maybe they will go on, grow up without me, but I am always one of them, and I will always be able to come back to tumbling group melodies and harmonies. At least for a few more years.

Oh, I don't know what happened! As soon as I leave, it seems, from what I hear, that everything has fallen apart. Members can no longer make practice, our teacher is absent more (maybe she gave up on us, one said), and some of them say that they no longer like the guzheng, that perhaps they are clinging on to thin air every time they practice.

This breaks my heart. Here I am, trying so, so hard just to find a guzheng so I can practice, looking up Youtube videos of our songs, practically counting down the days until I can see them again, until I can go to practice again, and here I am learning, in a span of three months, that there may not be an ensemble waiting for me when I return home.

How does this happen? What am I supposed to do? I can't force them to love something, but, at the same time, there is no way I'd enjoy playing with a group who aren't even into their music. But I love them; I can never leave them. Is this a case of denial, of not appropriately moving on? At this point I'm not even thinking about having to move on. I love the guzheng, but I'm not sure how I can still continue when I'm playing alone. After all we put into it, does it really vanish so fast.

This is breaking my heart. I'm scared to go home now, I'm scared that when I put on my picks, half of my girls won't even be present, and the other half will be just waiting to go home.

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