Music of the Soul
Athletes call it 'The Zone' with reverence. Artists call it a masterpiece as they sink back in a chair, exhausted. Scientists yell 'eureka!' as they rush to complete the experiment before the moment passes. But as a musician, there is no describing it in its entirety. But fortunately, it is possible to give a glimmer at least, of what it is like.
I walk up to the piano with the sound of the old lady in front saying, "oh, isn't he ever cute!" trailing just behind. I was expecting this; she had said that of everyone else who had played. My fellow students and I are at a seniors home, to perform for the residents. I'm about to play the latest song I learned, which is also my best to date, for the first time in front of an audience.
"Hi. I'm Nate Weil, and today I will play my own arrangement of 'The Giving' by Michael W. Smith." With my announcement out of the way, I sit down at the piano with a smile of pleasant surprise. It clearly hasn't been maintained. This will give my performance an extra touch.
I start off slow, lingering over every passionate note. Then I pick up the pace, in a rapid succession of broken chords that build up to my favorite part. Now I hit the climax, my fingers stretching an octave apart, my hands at opposite ends of the piano, pounding on the keys but with just an ounce of reservation.
Finally the moment I've been waiting for. My quickened heartbeat for a temp, My fingers flying in a flurry of passion, my foot moving up and down as fast as possible to keep up with my hands, my body quivering as I pour every atom of emotion and fervor into each rich note. I feel as though I'm on the crest of a musical wave, moving forward so fast that just one mistake will send me tumbling to a painful and embarassing end. But I don't. My fingers keep moving, and my mind takes a backseat while a flood of unnamed, untouched raw emotions keep me on track. My eyes glaze over as I lose myself in what rightfully shouldn't be coming from me.
Then, after what seems like more than the thirty seconds it took to play the part, the song glides over the remains of the wave, which has shrunk to a realistic size. My pulse is still racing ahead, leaving me behind to wrap up the song, drag my mind out of hiding, and stand up shakily to bow.
I'm pretty sure I played the song through without stopping, but I can't remember the middle except as a hazy dream lurking in the shadow of my mind, a word that I just can't think of. But after I take my seat, it comes back to me. I remember now, how in an amazing way I was deprived of playing my favorite song, as something that couldn't have been me took over.
Looking back, I have the feeling there was a lot more to that short period of time than the human mind can comprehend, possibly something I was never meant to experience. Something no one is ever supposed to know about. But despite those possibilities, as a writer I am compelled to write about it, to capture the impossible in the confined prison of human words.
And now, having done this, I can only hope that you, as a reader, can understand at the very least that such things do exist, and can happen to anyone. Or at least, if you have not been privileged to encounter it in your lifetime, that by reading what I wrote you can experience just a sliver of it's beauty.
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