Music has always been my life, not just part of it. Music has been the soundtrack to my deepest feelings and emotions. For as long as I can remember, music has been a constant companion not only as a performer, music educator, singing teacher and voice rehabilitator but as a composer of numerous songs and musical pieces that were never published for fear that they were not the highest caliber.
Singing, playing or composing music has guided me through both the ups and downs of life. However, after my mom passed from Alzheimer’s Disease in 2012 this vital source of inspiration seemed to have vanished from my life. The realization that my musical muse was lost set me me on a journey filled with self-reflection, frustration, and finaly peace..
Music had always been more than a profession for me. It was also my escape, my therapy, and the way I expressed myself when words failed me. Whenever I felt overwhelmed or lost, I would turn to my voice or the piano and they would become an extension of my soul. The music flowed effortlessly, filling the voids in my heart and mind. It was a language that transcended barriers and allowed me to connect deeply with students and colleagues.
However, once my mom passed the melodies and harmonies that once danced in my mind were replaced by the noise of everyday life. It wasn't until a quiet evening I believed that my dead Macbook Pro had the only recording of my piece entitled “Sundowning of a Long Life” that I had performed at my mom’s funeral. I was devastated that in my move to Tucson I had lost that as well as all the family pictures that were ruined in a flood in Rhode Island. One day my husband happened upon a copy buried years ago. Eagerly I listened to my piece over and over and then I realized that I had not felt the urgency to compose another piece of music since 2012. I had lost both my mom and my muse in 2012.
Listening to my piece I felt memories flooding my mind, taking me back to the pain and heartache I felt as I battled to find the mother I loved being consumed by the demon disease. But once she passed I stopped composing. I took several trips to gain a new perspective on life. I moved across the country and made a fresh start in the arid Southwest. Then the demands of students, family, and other responsibilities took precedence, stripping me of the time to feel the emotions that became my muse. I had become so caught up in the chaos of everyday life that I didn't even realize my muse had slipped away.
As I sat there a few months ago surrounded by my unpublished songs and instrumental pieces a sense of loss washed over me. It was as if a part of me had been silenced, locked away in a box labeled "forgotten dreams." I couldn't bear the thought of letting my passion fade into oblivion, buried beneath the weight of obligations and routines.
Realizing the absence of my musical muse was a wake-up call. I knew I had to embark on a journey to reconnect with this lost part of myself. The first step was to realize that I am content at this time of my life. I have no sadness, no stress, no anxiety, and no desperation that had fueled my last composition. Instead I have found peace in my life my age.
Finding my muse was not a linear path. There were moments of doubt when I questioned whether I would ever reclaim my muse. But it was through persistent effort and unwavering determination that I slowly began to regain my connection with my soul. Each note, each rhythm , brought me closer to this elusive muse, reminding me of the beauty of the creative process.
The pursuit of my muse was not without its challenges. Creative blocks tested my resolve, and moments of doubt threatened to derail my progress. However, through perseverance and a steadfast commitment to my craft, I was able to overcome these obstacles and rediscover the joy of creation. Each setback became an opportunity for growth, and each moment of persistence brought me closer to my muse. So, to all those who find themselves facing their own creative hurdles, I implore you to embrace the obstacles, for they may just lead you to the most extraordinary moments of inspiration.
And creativity in ways I never thought possible.