Slowly, imperceptibly, the sun has set. Gradually, incrementally, it dawns on me that all is dark. A lone lamp shines out bleakly, a forgotten reminder of early morning's cheerful dark.

My head throbs dully, nothing a cup of coffee and an ibuprofen won't fix.

I wish the soul-ache were so simple.

"Milk. Milk in a cup!" But you have a cup of milk right there. "Milk in a cup with chocolate?"

Unpleasant odors waft up to my nose. Which one needs changing this time?

It never ends, this constant cycle of needs. Milk and stories and honey toast and pictures of helicopters. Apple slices, but don't spit them out, oops, bye-bye apple. Crayons, but only on the paper, oops, bye-bye crayons. And how is it that mopping the floor twice a day just isn't enough?

I know that there was a time when it all seemed to matter, was beautiful and joyous. And I know that time was just a few short hours ago.

I remember that there was a time, but try as I might, I can't remember what it felt like.

The emptiness deepens and swells, until I cannot bear the pressure.

Suddenly I recognize the hunger. My fingers tremble as I pull my flute case down off the shelf. The tarnished silver tubes slip together effortlessly, and I play. The sound is horrendous, but I don't care. To pause, and adjust, and find a tone that I can admire seems a shameful vanity. Later, later. For now, my need is too pressing, and I simply play.

Rippling through the notes, weaving in and around scales and arpeggios, the formless void of my experience takes shape.

"No song! No song!"

I really do sound dreadful.

My son, I'm afraid you're just going to have to put up with it. Just a glimmer, but I start to remember. Like a theorem you couldn't quite prove yourself or even recite, but the logic is so compelling, you know that if you read it long enough it will become part of you... like the truth you reason yourself into seeing, in that strange in-between moment when you still see the illusion right there mixed up with the truth...

The music matters, so obviously matters. And the music is life, only smaller, flatter. So if the music matters, then necessarily, life has to matter, and more. I only half see it, but I know it must be so, there is no other way. It has to matter, and more importantly, the way that the music matters has to be the same way that life matters. Just a glimmer, but I start to remember.

What was I thinking? What else could possibly happen when I go for weeks without music?

Isaiah, you are simply going to have to put up with the sound of my flute.

But first, how about a cup of juice and a cuddle and another Arthur book?


slowlane said...

I could use a flute, a cup of juice, a cuddle and an Arthur book right now.

Robbie Pollard said...

I think that when sometimes the constant demands of Motherhood, although be it ever and always a blessing, there comes a time that "Dadders" needs to take over so that you can have a much needed, much deserved, bubble bath.

Elena said...

Oh yeah!