The Dreamer: Part 1

A fictional tale of Leanra

"Mirrors never tell the truth; only those with open eyes will see the underlying truth."
That was the last thing she told me before lifting the cover.
The silver mirror revealed my face, as it always did. I looked at my teacher. "I see myself."
She shook her head then covered the mirror again. "You're done for today. You no longer listen to my words. Go home."
Third day in a row to be sent home early. Why was I not making any progress? I walked down the road, contemplating the excuses and reasons. None of them made any sense in my mind. I thought my eyes were open.
Then I ran into a tree. Well, not really a tree. More of a man I knew all too well.
"I was wondering when you would come, Leanra," Laerr smiled. "It's been too long."
I stepped to the side, trying to walk around him. "Not long enough. Now let me pass."
To my surprise, he stepped aside. “Be my guest.”
He had never said that to me. It sure didn't sound like he meant it in the figurative sense. He wanted me to be his guest. “I'm busy tonight. I can't come over. You know that.”
“Yes, I do, and I also know that that's a lie. I'll expect you to be there around sundown. Good day, Leanra.”
And with that, Laerr finally walked away from me. I hugged myself and ran. I did not want to be anywhere near him longer than I had to. Yet, something about him drew me closer to him.
I had been close to him once, but that was long ago. We had both changed, but Laerr refused to see it. His eyes were closed to it.
No matter how hard I tried, I could not keep myself busy enough to miss Laerr's invitation. Everything I tried took a fraction of the time I thought it would take. There was no avoiding it now. The Sun was beginning to set.
With hesitance, I walked over to his house. When I arrived on his doorstep, the door swung open. Bright light lit the inside of the house, creating Laerr's dark silhouette. “I knew you'd make it.”
I stepped into the blinding light. The house was much cleaner than I last remembered. Large, drooping candles lit the small table covered with food. I turned to Laerr. “Very nice atmosphere, but that doesn't mean anything.”
Laerr half smiled as he pulled out a chair for me. He motioned for me to sit. “But what if it does?”
I sat in the chair and refused to answer. I knew what he was going to say.
He walked around to the other side of the table and sat in the chair there. His golden eyes lit up in the candlelight. He was trying too hard.
The dinner was delicious, but it didn't matter. He wanted something from me; it was written all over his face. I finally just asked him, “What do you want?”
His coy smile spread as he rose from his seat. “There is only one thing I desire,” he mused, making his way around to my seat. He pulled out my chair and pulled me to my feet. I kept my back to him.
One of his hands pushed my hair onto one shoulder and rested atop my shoulder. His other hand gently clasped mine, weaving his fingers in between my own. “You,” he whispered in my ear.
His breath on my neck sent chills up and down my spine. There was no way he would get what he wanted.


Celebrating Five Years with Bach and Bruch

I can't believe that I've been playing violin for only five years. It has become such a huge part of my life, it feels like I've been playing for much longer. This February I'm celebrating my five-year anniversary of violin lessons. Some of the music added to my repertoire are very different from what I've ever played.

For YBAC this year, which will be in April, I plan on playing the Allemande and Gigue from Bach's Partita No. 2 for solo violin. Bach's solo violin music is some of the most difficult violin music on the planet. Though I do have to say, I'm playing two of the easier pieces.

Also, this year, my teacher asked me if I wanted to play anything in particular. We had already started on the Bach music, and orchestra was running again. I had just finished the first movement of another Mozart concerto and several theme and variation pieces by Dancia. I told my teacher that I wanted to play something different, since we had played so many similar pieces. It was then that she gave me the Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor.

When my teacher was a year younger than I am now, she had played the same piece. She had just switched teachers, and this piece was a big breakthrough for her. She saw it fitting that I should play it.

I wanted something more challenging, and that's what I got. If you search for Bruch Violin Concerto 1 on YouTube, Nicola Benedetti's recording is amazing.

It is by far the most difficult piece I've started learning, and I love it.


Life recently

I am so sorry I have not posted in so many a month. I really want to start posting more regularly, but that's not happening quite yet.

So you see, I've been living and working at Chick-fil-A with my older sister this summer. It's been a blast! We've gone river tubing, gotten two mani/pedi's and 90-minute massages, and gone to a Japanese steakhouse. Working at Chick-fil-A is totally awesome and has been a great experience. Last Wednesday night, about five of us from work went to a huge CFA party. I danced my first Cupid Shuffle with our marketing director Micah (she's an awesome girl) and drank two large iced coffees that night. :-/

A few weeks ago, just before my CFA store launched the new iced coffee, we had a short training session one Sunday afternoon. Afterwards, a bunch of us went to this really awesome (and delicious) French bakery. I got my sweets and some protein and sat outside with the group. That was another really fun night.

Back in July, we celebrated Cow Appreciation Day all across the country, and I got to work front counter during lunch rush. It got so crowded at one time that I almost started hyperventilating. That day was challenging.

About a month ago, while working front counter, I served a guy that was wearing a t-shirt that advertised my home state's university sports teams. I asked if he was a fan and if he was from that region (as I am in a different state than my home) and we got to chatting. And it just so happened that he used to live right down the road from where I live with my parents and attended my local high school! That was one of my favorite experiences so far.

Well, I have to start getting ready to bed for an early morning. Hope to check in again in less than three months this time. ;-)

"This is the day that the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."
~ Psalm 118:24

Lena Elizabeth



Oh, how I love being in an orchestra! I love a good challenge; and that's exactly what orchestra is.

Several weeks ago, my conductor approached us about needing a pianist for one of the pieces. I thought, if no one else volunteers, I will. Apparently, I'm one of the few pianists in the orchestra. Later that day, my conductor gave me piano music and said he'd like to hear it in a week or so.

I practiced hard that week. Since I hadn't been chosen to play piano when I first auditioned, I really wanted to play this. Most of it turned out to be very fun. Overall, it was somewhat tricky, but not difficult. Lots of scales and broken chords, and about ten glissandi (slides up the keyboard).

While practicing the music at church one day (since they have a baby grand, and that's what I'd be playing), I almost scraped off two fingernails during the glissandi. I'd left little splatters of blood on the upper white keys-oops! So I bandaged up my fingers and started again.

Later that day after rehearsal, I played the music for my conductor, inwardly begging him not to make me play the glissandi. Thankfully, he didn't. After playing the piece, he told me I could do it.

The following week-last week as it turned out-I played the first movement with the orchestra. It was amazing! I love it even more, despite the strange scales, broken chords, and glissandi.


YBAC time again

I would have posted this earlier, but I didn't.

Anyway, YBAC came around again this year. I'd been practicing my piece for months, and I was ready for it. However, I did not expect the competition to be more competitive this year. The number of competitors doubled from last year, and I knew nearly half of them by name.
Unlike last year, the dominance laid with violinists and pianists, instead of cellists. There were only two competitors this year who had placed last year, one of them being me.
This past Saturday, the competition was held. I went in, expecting to do very well. I knew my piece almost completely by heart. I'd brought my music just in case I needed it for any reason. When my time came, I opened the lid of the piano, turned my music to a troublesome page, and began.
My first noticeable stumble came at an unexpected time. My memory had failed me. I kept playing, thinking it was probably no matter. I'd turned my music away from the troubling page, praying that I'd finish well.
I got to the easier part of the hardest page with no trouble, then got whammed with another mistake. Another blunder, during one of the easiest parts of the piece. I turned my music again, and continued to play.
I finished with as much oomph as I could manage. I closed my music, stood, thanked the judges, and quietly exited the room. Even with my mistakes, everyone was saying I did well. I anxiously waited for the results to drop into my inbox.

That night, shortly before I went to bed, I checked to see if they'd determined the winners. An email sat at the top of the inbox, from one of the competition managers. I opened it, dreading what it might say.

First place: [a violinist]
Second place: [a harpist]
Third place: [a violinist]
Honorable mentions: [a violinist], [a vocalist]

My name was not there, nor were any others from my same instrument. I hadn't really expected to be there, with my stumbles and the added competition this year. Perhaps my piece was not quite the style the judges were searching for, perhaps my mistakes made a bit of an impact in their decision, perhaps both.
I may not have placed this year, I may compete in the coming years, but I will be more aware of the competition and my selection.