Beyond Words…the language of music.

As a writer, words are my thing. Until very, very recently, I thought words were perhaps the only way to communicate. We had to talk about it. I had to write about it. Since primary school, I’ve been writing journals  which are all scattered around the house and are even stashed in crates up in our roof. I’ve also written countless poems and my poor computer is almost exploding with words.



My beloved violin

My beloved violin


However, when I discovered the violin, I found there was something beyond words. Well, actually I’ve always known there was something beyond words because I’ve unsuccessfully grappled with these thoughts and feelings seemingly all my life without being able to translate them into the written word. Rather, they’ve stubbornly refused to be categorised, defined or shoved in a box with a concise label waiting to be filed in alphabetical order.  When it comes to writing, this is the kind of stuff that lies between the lines and seemingly can’t ever make it into print.

Yet, even though I’m a relative beginner, somehow I’ve been able to reach and express these feelings through my violin. Somehow, it seems that notes can bridge the gap between vague and often inexpressible feelings and concrete words. Through playing the violin, even with all its squeaks and mistakes,  I have found parts of myself which had been lost and disconnected, rattling around inside me like spare parts. Slowly but surely, these missing pieces are becoming more integrated. I am finding myself. Freeing myself up.

Playing the violin has not only helped me connect better with parts of myself but it’s also helped me to connect with relative strangers as well.

Last year, I started playing in a violin ensemble. It was the first time that I’d ever played a musical instrument in a group. When it comes to connecting with people, I always thought you needed to speak to communicate and preferably share something personal. However, I felt some kind of unspoken connection or synergy with the other players, even though we barely knew each other and we weren’t doing much talking. We were all just beginner violinists trying to play a half-decent note. That’s all. But I felt a connection that touched something inside. That we had reached a place that wasn’t printed on a map… somewhere personal and off the beaten track. I don’t know if that’s how the other players felt but that’s how it was for me. It was a very special experience.

You see, although I’m something of a social butterfly and very extroverted, I can still feel surprisingly awkward at times and it’s not always easy for me to find my niche. That’s why I have called my blog Beyond the Flow. I’m not quite part of the mainstream. So even for me, this experience of bonding musically was very special and to be cherished.

Have you had bonding experiences like this where communication has involved more than words?

xx Rowena

Playing my violin at Byron Bay Lighthouse

Playing my violin at Byron Bay Lighthouse

12 thoughts on “Beyond Words…the language of music.

  1. starwarsanon

    I picked this post because of L. Palmer’s request, and I enjoyed it! Good job.

    I have played piano, guitar, and oboe…but have only kept up with guitar. It’s funny how it helps me express when my head is too muddled. For instance – this morning I was angry, but I knew it was one of those situations where I was overreacting. I saw my guitar sitting near my makeup vanity, picked it up and played the same 5 chords over and over again for about 8 minutes in different strumming patterns. It made me feel so much better. I was able to face the day again with a clearer mind.

    As for bonding experiences, it usually happens at a campfire. The guitar is so awesome for the summer bonfires.

  2. roweeee Post author

    It’s been hard for me just to enjoy where I’m at with my music without feeling I need to be perfect or sound like a professional. I was also very pleased to read that it’s practice that creates a great music, not inbuilt talent. I actually read a very good book called “Nurtured by Love” by Suzuki, the founder of the Suzuki movement and he really stresses that. There is hope for me yet!
    Best wishes,

  3. roweeee Post author

    Thank you very much for visiting my blog.
    A few years ago when my grandmother was dying the family was gathered by her bedside in the hospital. My cousin is a cellist and she played her cello in there and somehow encapsulated all my thoughts and feelings so well. She expressed my heart. That was before I took up the violin and was able to find this release in myself.
    I am quite intrigued about the power of the camp fire. My uncle, who is an Aboriginal elder, spoke to my son’s class a few years ago about the importance of camping. We’ve never been but I would love to go…especially with my uncle. That would be a very special experience.
    Best wishes,

  4. roweeee Post author

    I have serious doubts about my own abilities but I’m putting these these theories to the test. Can practice really make perfect? Haven’t got there yet! xx Rowena

  5. Pingback: And The High-Five Goes To… « The L. Palmer Chronicles

  6. L. Palmer

    Music for the sake of music, for the sake of fun can often be the best. Finding creative outlets, I find, is essential for happiness. Thanks for this post. I really enjoyed it.

  7. Pingback: And The High-Five Goes To… Beyond the Flow No 2. | beyondtheflow

  8. starwarsanon

    I don’t know how I missed your reply! I forgot to check the box for notifying on follow up comments.
    I actually am half Australian! I had a hint that you were Australian when you said “Uni” on my blog, but this now confirms it. My dad is from Adelaide, and all my relatives are now scattered between Sydney and Adelaide.
    I also went into the Outback and did Aborigine tours (I even ate the Witchetty grub!) but it’s cool that your uncle is an Aborigine elder. He must have a wealth of knowledge inside of him.

  9. roweeee Post author

    Thanks for coming to visit Kiri and hooking up with your Australian half. Out of curiosity, which half is the Australian half? That’s just me being a bit cheeky and typically Australian, I’m afraid. My grandfather came from Adelaide from the town of Hahndorf. Their house Haebich’s Cottage is now a tourist attraction.
    I haven’t been to the outback although I did go out bush in WA with my uncle and his family many years ago and was shown emu tracks. I’ve also eaten food cooked in a hole in the ground. I need to take my kids over for a visit. My son believes he is Aboriginal because my uncle is although that’s by marriage. My daughter asked me if my aunt had been stolen after they recently commemorated Apology Day at school.That had me in fits of lauhter because the idea of my mum’s mother having her baby stolen was so out of our experience although ironically she was briefly mixed up with another baby at the hospital but my grandmother immediately spotted the difference. Have you been to Australia?
    Best wishes,

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