Daily Prompt: Obstacle Course

Think about what you wanted to accomplish last week. Did you? What are the things that hold you back from doing everything you’d like to do?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us BARRIERS.

Hello all, and sorry for the absence of weekend posts – my laptop has broken down a bit, and I’m using another computer this lunch-hour.

Last week was a funny one. I have been having a very musical week (and a half) and have been getting increasingly more passionate. In life, I strive to develop as a person. However, recently I have been talking to a friend of mine quite a lot. He’s very careful who he talks to, more because he gets stressed out when he’s bored and music is his life – basically this guy just likes to spend time with extremely musical people like himself. This friend of mine is an astonishingly good pianist, despite being quite critical of his playing, and spends every night practising until 7.30pm onwards. This made me think about putting in extra hours, as I have been over the last couple of weeks. But this guy. Wow.

The strangest thing happened however this weekend. I had a really bad dream and, as stupid as it may sound, it really set me on edge yesterday. The day before (Saturday) I went in to practise early. This same friend of mine was practising on the Steinway in the Chapel as he usually does, and I said hello then went to practice. After an hour or two, I went back into the Chapel and listened to him practising, shuffling my feet every so often so he knew I was here. However gradually I noticed his playing was amazingly relaxed and precise, something I know he doesn’t do nearly as well as when he knows people are watching. And then, even though he was completely immersed in practising the first movement of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.2, he suddenly broke down in tears!

I was taken aback with this, but went up to him. He got a slight fright – “Shit, sorry: I didn’t know you were here” – then after I gave him a rub on the shoulder he just resumed playing, and I left rather briefly. I came back half an hour later and saw that he was still practising but looked much better. I called to him to make sure he knew I was in the Chapel and then we started to talk a bit. He was fine, as it turned out, however I made sure that everything was good. I know that his parents are quite critical of his playing – they’re all professional musicians/composers – but he made sure I knew that they were constructively critical. We talked about being emotionally involved in music, as he is, and it was really good to talk.

The day after (Sunday) we had a concert to do. I was so annoyed because we only knew a week in advance, and by chance I had woken up on edge. Everyone has something that they do when they feel as if something else in they’re lives is inadequate. I play music for ages. I woke up early after having that distressing dream, washed dishes then went in to practise for 11.30am. I did three hours solid practise before we had to rehearse for that night’s concert, but I felt as if I could have done two times as much. It told me that something was wrong. That dream really disturbed me yet, although I haven’t told anyone about it, I know the matter it concerns is beyond me – or rather, finished for me.

There are barriers in life, and some we just can’t explain. They get in the way, but one certainty is that most you can fix through careful, precise, hard work. Apologies for the laptop barrier.

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18 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Obstacle Course

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