November 19, 2011 at 9:31 AMSoldotna's a lonely town for me, and November is a pretty lonely month. When I first set a goal of writing thirty entries in thirty days, I wondered how boring I would be. Nothing crazy exciting has happened this month--just the usual goings on for a violin teacher in the middle of nowhere. Most days don't speak of much except the weather. (Why, it was minus ten by the time I finished teaching today, but I wasn't surprised by the thermometer's reading; my violin had already told me so by spitting its pegs out during the last lesson.)
Beyond the weather, I thought it would be a burdensome difficulty to try to come up with something new to write about every day. Instead, as I sorted and tidied my thoughts each evening, I found valuable nuggets of wisdom to chew, like a dog with his nightly bone session. It keeps me busy. Not only that, but when I post them for the world to read, I gain the embrace of a supportive community that continues to fill a desperate void in my life, despite the massive global gulf that separates us.
It is very difficult to pour yourself out into your teaching and have nothing to fill you in return at the end of the day. The folks at the coffee shop, as much as I love them, don't really understand the joy of a fresh cake of rosin or a crazy awesome new string combo. But if I write about them here, I get a little tickle in my toes, knowing that there's at least one person out there who feels the same way. And we need this kind of connection in our lives, this communication of heartfelt interests.
We're a rare breed, us violinists. Only a special type of individual can persevere through the hardships in order to gain the joy of self-expression through this exquisite, romantically exotic time portal that is the violin. Take it from me: I've seen my fair share of quitters. If you're the kind of person who still practices and comes to your lesson even after two whole days without power and sub-zero temperatures, then you, my friend, were meant for the violin.
That's probably part of why I spend so much time alone. But every time I connect with my little internet community and I get a letter from someone I've never met, or a comment on my blog--any comment!--I feel like I can keep on giving it my best. Your connection with me means the world to me.
What a touching blog - honest, sensitive and insightful. You have a true gift for writing!
And it's clear that you are an exceptionally creative and thoughtful teacher.
You sure have chosen an extreme place to live, and I'd imagine that there aren't too many soulmates in your little community. But I'm willing to bet that you're more appreciated than you know, particularly by your students and their families.
You do seem a little low right now, so I couldn't resist giving you a virtual hug!
We are lucky to have you in our virtual midst, and I hope you won't ever let your perfectionism get in the way of writing again... :)
Julie, I feel your pain. I wish you the strength to push forward to better times.
The value lies in their heritage, and you can keep this flowing forward with your own passion and desire, regardless of what your medium happens to be. Save some money, ask for some shopping advice, and move forward.
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