Hmmm, what to write here…?? WordPress informs me that this space should tell you something about where I’m coming from. In that case I guess I could tell you that I live in beautiful rambling Derbyshire with my partner and probably way too many plants. Or that I would be a less happy person without my guitar and kiln and my creative outpourings. Maybe I could say that I wish I didn’t still have to work a part-time job to pay the bills but value the means to take responsibility for myself. Or I could even tell you that I can’t eat lactose without becoming an inert lump and miss cheese every time I get a waft of the air drifting out of a decent deli. But it’s all a lot of random facts. A pile of fragments instead of a whole person. So, let’s try again…
Well, someone once told me that I needed to start blowing my own trumpet louder and more often.
“But it’ll make my lips go all flabby” I said “and then where would I be?”
“But you’ll be so happy blowing that trumpet that you won’t care about your lips being flabby.”
“But I will. I will. Everyone cares about flabbiness” I said, “everyone will look at me and say what flabby lips she has.”
“But you’ll be playing that trumpet so loud you won’t hear them. And eventually the music will be so beautiful that nobody will even notice your flabby lips anyway. Here, just take the trumpet and give it a try…you might need to polish it up first though; it’s not been used in a while.”
So I took the trumpet and turned it over in my hands. I didn’t like it. It was a strange shape and I didn’t know how to play it. So I put it away in a box for a while. Then I got it out again. Then I put it back in the box. Then I got it out again. This time I blew into it. It sounded terrible, as if there was rust inside it, grinding, resisting, too many sounds trying to get out all at once. After several dismal attempts I took it from my lips in despair and stared into its shiny surface. My own reflection stared back at me defiantly.
“Teach me how to play you” I finally whispered, though I wasn’t sure if the trumpet could hear me.
Suddenly a tiny little squeak came out of its bell. In that moment I realised that despite my clumsiness the trumpet wanted to be played. More than anything else it wanted to do what it was made to do, to play beautiful strong clear notes, to feel the wind rushing through it making music as it flowed smoothly through its valves and inner workings. This trumpet, my trumpet, wanted to teach me how to play it and I wanted to learn.I am still learning and will always be learning for as long as I exist and as long as my trumpet exists. But as we play together now I have come to realise that my trumpet is so much more than just a trumpet. It is beauty and peace and most importantly love.
Love?! Love? ! I hear you say. What does that even mean? But love to me doesn’t mean always getting the notes right. Heck, it might not even mean getting a note at all. But it does mean putting your lips to the mouthpiece and blowing. It means giving freely of your breathe, your life force, to that trumpet so that it can become what it was made for. It means being willing to risk the judgement of others, just to create the possibility, the potential, the opportunity for beauty. A trumpet in a box might still look like a trumpet, but it has no way to become a Trumpet until we give it a voice and allow it to make a sound in the world, whatever that sound might be.