Quote of the Day: How to Play.

Via on Mar 26, 2012
Photo: tumblr

“Life is like a public performance on the violin, in which you must learn the instrument as you go along.”

~ E. M. Forster, A Room with a View

We get caught up in trying to play it cool.

We want to know we’ll hit all the right notes before we begin to play. We talk to each other using hand-me-down scripts that never fit anyone. We say what we’re supposed to say and laugh when we’re supposed to laugh.

We pat each other’s projections on the back. We have our little elevator speeches about who we are and what we do. I don’t want to know any of that. Can we skip that part?

Let’s talk about what you think of right before you fall asleep. Do you like strawberries? What was your first kiss was like? Which side do you sleep on and do you bite your nails? I want to know what scares you, what you want so badly you’re afraid to ask for it, what you’ve been daydreaming about.

Freshly-pressed, camera-ready and finely-tuned gets boring. I’d rather be a little out of tune and keep on playing. I love all the rumpled hair and un-tucked, out-of-breath moments. Those moments when we fall apart a little at the seams and laugh too hard or sing off-key—those are where we’re beautiful.

I could do without those polished speeches with their perfect balance of arrogance and self-effacement. I don’t want patter. I want to hear you, the inside you—the awkward 14-year-old you that gets a little nervous and stumbles with your shy smile and your hair in your eyes. Deep down, we each are still that awkward 14-year-old. If we can let go of all the projections and the posturing and let those 14-year-olds talk to each other, things will be a lot easier.

Don’t worry if your violin is out of tune, or if you can’t remember the notes—just play.


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About Kate Bartolotta

Kate Bartolotta is the strongest girl in the world. She is the love child of a pirate and a roller derby queen. She hails from the second star to the right. She doesn't know how to behave with all the apples and ibexes. She doesn't suffer from her eight million freckles, she loves them! Like a rolling stone, Kate gathers no moss. Kate loves kale, being barefoot, Dr. Seuss, singing too loudly, gallivanting, palindromes, blackberries and has far too many books for her own good. When she's not writing, you can find her practicing yoga, running in the woods, playing with her kids, devouring a book, planting dandelions, changing the world and doing her dishes. Kate does not play the accordion. She is a massage therapist, writer and a compassionate friend to all. This year Kate aspires to finally give up on learning to knit and will instead spend that time putting a little bit more of her heart on the page. Connect with Kate on Facebook and Twitter


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6 Responses to “Quote of the Day: How to Play.”

  1. Mel says:

    Kate I dayream that you're my bestie sitting across the couch, over for dinner, helping laugh away the day. But for now I'll settle for reading what you have to say on EJ. THANKs for the heart warming!

  2. Irene says:

    Love it! Thank you!

  3. ValCarruthers says:

    Love this, Kate! I've been known to play my fiddle even with broken strings.

    Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Spirituality Homepage.

    Valerie Carruthers
    Please go and "Like" Elephant Spirituality on Facebook

  4. [...] And y’know, sometimes we all need to let loose. [...]

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