Her journey begins…

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She is bright… in fact, this is an understatement. Her IQ aside, she has developed a maturity and self-efficacy way beyond her tender years.

So when she spoke of writing songs and making music at 10 years old, I was happy to indulge her. She did not jump up and down with the excitement that usually accompanies little people when they discovered something new to do. I did not think she was ‘that’ passionate, that it could perhaps be a fad. She’d always enjoyed listening to music, and her musical taste was, and still is, eclectic.

Then about a year ago, she asked for (additional) lessons on music composition and vocal lessons, after years of traditional piano and guitar lessons. That was when I discovered (through conversations with her and her teachers) that she hears music in her head, not just a melody rather she is hearing complete compositions. She wanted lessons to equip herself to document, record and produce what she hears in her head. In a year and the half, she has developed into something of a music aficionado. And this time, I have been paying attention.

To cut a long story short, fast forward to now. She has an amateur bedroom studio, and hints 😊 have been dropped for a proper soundproofed studio with the correct acoustic for recording.

While I have always been adamant that we are to meet people, especially children, where they are; not where we believe they ought to be, I did not do so with her. Social narratives are not easy to identify and dispel. For example, “she is only 9 or 10, even if she was an exceptionally intelligent child”. “A child is too young to know what she really wants.” “It is too soon to spend such money on a child, she’s bound to change her mind.” And with every delay, lack of interest, placating and condescension, we bear the risk of discouraging a genuine passion, or worse of reinforcing a message of unworthiness of her ideas, invalidity of her desires and interests, and perhaps even her as a human being. A sense of “you are not enough” to know, to want, to dream, to aspire…

I am fortunate that she didn’t give up on me, and in her own sweet way, pestered me for what she wanted. Over a tumultuous period in our family, I did finally listen.

What is more amazing, at least to me, is how with the tools now at her fingertips she begins to emerge from her “shell”, to experiment, to have the necessary conversations with like-minded people.

And very recently, I was privileged to be told that she is publishing on SoundCloud, growing a following on Twitter and Instagram… oh wow!

Here’s a track – an acoustic cover:

It is far from perfect; it is a journey … of self-discovery… of taking each necessary step to achieve a dream. She is passionate enough to take risks. She has set a goal and working towards it. For these, I am the proudest parent.

I can’t wait for her original material! And no, I don’t get a private preview!

~ FlorenceT

 

© 2017 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

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Bloom #Haiku Challenge 142 @RonovanWrites

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RonovanWrites Haiku Challenge 142 with prompt words – Spring, Fresh

For my benefit (when I declared I was too busy and had yet to write for this challenge) and what a privilege, a haiku from the beautiful S.  Yep, she messaged it to me and instructed “there will be no capitalisation” on the haiku 🙂

 

feel a soft spring breeze

the light touch so fresh and warm

as we bloom and grow

~ SMTD

 

 

 

© 2017 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

 

The Plight of Solitude

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I often do things alone. I tell everyone who asked ‘why’ that I love my own company, and I do. I enjoy the freedom of ‘not minding’ and ‘not caring’ of another. I enjoy the opportunity for introspection and contemplation, as if I don’t do it enough.

Why? These statements are simple enough, yet behind each of these simple statements is a world of meaning.

 

Solitude is companionable. I have done this since I was a teenager. A (loosely) self-labelled introvert, I never did have a crowd of friends, rather a few good friends. And like me, they are introverts and a serious bunch. We spoke of ‘things’, discussed ‘stuff’ and we had fun. Then we retreat to our own worlds for respite. I remember being entirely happy with this situation, despite others beyond my world looking at me with pity in their eyes because I was a “loner” and “friendless”. They would not comprehend why nor understand me.

“I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.” ~ Henry David Thoreau, ‘Walden’

 

Solitude is freedom. There is a certain independence and freedom being in my own company. The connection to my inner self, if you would call it that, or to my thoughts, feelings, senses… is heightened when I am alone. Perhaps I am conditioned to be more social that I am – that in the company of others, my attention is to them and about them; and for a long time, this attention was also worrying about how they were and how they perceived me. With a degree of hard-fought self-awareness and inevitable age and maturity, I am comfortable in my own skin now.

A man can be himself only so long as he is alone, and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom, for it is only when he is alone that he is really free. ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

 

Solitude is nourishing. Cultural, gender and familial norms dictated my presence – to be attentive to others and to serve. I do care, I do serve, I do for others and only to the extent I can and in the circumstance within my control. Beyond this I am merely fretting and worrying, over-managing and to be frank, somewhat of a pain to be around. It also taxed my sense of self, of not giving myself permission to do what I desired and what I would. I have learnt that being selfish is not a bad thing. All things in moderation and to each their own.

“I had told people of my intention to be alone for a time. At once I realized they looked upon this declaration as a rejection of them and their company. I felt apologetic, even ashamed, that I would have wanted such a curious thing as solitude, and then sorry that I had made a point of announcing my desire for it. … the decision to be alone for any length of time is dangerous, threatening, a sign of rejection. … Having never felt the need to be alone themselves, having always lived happily in relationships, they looked upon my need as eccentric, even somewhat mad. But more than that, they saw it as fraudulent, an excuse to be rid of them rather than a desperate need to explore myself.” ~ Doris Grumbach, ‘Fifty Days of Solitude’

 

Solitude is growth. Those who know me will attest that I think a lot, some may even claim that I over-think. Being a lawyer and educator, academic and intellectual pursuits are part and parcel of my life, one that I am comfortably familiar and cherish. All this ‘head-y’ stuff can sometimes be overwhelming, or strangely addictive. Either way, solitude is my step away from the mentalising and cognizing, away from boundaried explorations to experiencing varied possibilities, where I can broaden my sphere of seeing, and to draw a thread through the many systems and structures in my world. Most importantly, it allows me to just be. And it is only in these emotional and spiritual states that I am once again reconnected to the inner me which gets forgotten or ignored.

We have the choice of two identities: the external mask which seems to be real…and the hidden, inner person who seems to us to be nothing, but who can give himself eternally to the truth in whom he subsists. ~ Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

 

I am practicing this often – to be at peace with my desire for solitude, no matter the consternation of the outside world. The “motivation” to be alone are many – because one has to, because one must, because one has something to prove, because one was forced to by circumstances…

Regardless of the cause, should you ever find yourself alone, revel in it. Take a deep breath, listen to the voice within, observe your self in this place, and allow yourself the joy (however tiny or great) of being your own companion for a while. There is always time to make friends with your self.

“It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, ‘Self-Reliance’

 

In solitude,
~ FlorenceT

 

© 2017 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.