Monday, February 5, 2007

A letter to someone I should have written a long time ago

Dear K-- N--:

I never properly thanked you for all that you had given to me as my violin teacher. When I was directly your student, I understood that your contribution to my talent and my growth as a person (in all senses, but in particular as an academic and as an inquisitive person interested in the arts) was significant, but as time grows, I now can better see just on how grand a magnitude you have taught and molded me: an immense expanse that continues to grow. In truth, although we have not spoken in many years, I am still your student.

I did not write you when I had learned your brother passed away. I did not write you when I put away my violin, essentially for good. I did not write you regarding my decision to pursue music. There were a lot of times I did not write even though I knew that perhaps a letter would have brought some measure of comfort. Perhaps I feel I have no concrete news to share. Perhaps I feel you would disapprove. Perhaps I feel you would think my dream impossible. There are thoughts about myself that I do not completely understand and have not fully addressed or made peace with.

But one thing seems clear -- to continue not to write would be a mistake. For as surely as my mother gave me my voice, and my hands, and my talent, you took these things and placed within them powerful tools. Tools that not only served my needs, but tools that would teach me and grow up as I did. You gave me the promise of Faure, the excitement of reading Mary Shelley's The Last Man, Indian rasa theory, the colors of dedication, and the keys to a wonderful violin technique that you taught me to give to myself.

Each time I use them to teach myself about my voice, I think of the violin and how near I was to never learning -- the unthinkable -- and my silence, as if it meant nothing -- the thoughtless. Perhaps it is no wonder that teachers are so bitter in this country, even for all that they do, even for all that is possible with them and impossible without.

You gave me doors I did not know existed -- and even if I am not the one to open them, learning the way has been it's own adventure.

Thank you for giving.

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