This afternoon, as I was waiting for therapy to begin, I was coloring in my Hello Kitty coloring book and listening to music. Adult coloring books are way to maticulous for me – don’t judge lol
Anyway, the song October by Eric Whitacre came on. If you aren’t familiar with this piece of music, you HAVE to listen to it. This piece is one of the most incredibly moving pieces I’ve ever played.
You read that right.
I was in band throughout high school. Not just any band, one of the top high school marching and symphonic bands in the country. I played clarinet, bass clarinet, and contrabass clarinet. I had the privilege of playing Eric Whitacre’s October three times – once for symphonic band and twice in marching band.
Whitacre wrote the piece to showcase his favorite month, October. During the month of October, the seasons change, the leaves turn vibrant colors, and, for Whitacre, there is a sense of nostalgia and sentimental feelings. Personally, I struggle during the month of October. The leaves changing reminds me of trauma experiences and the weather gets cold, which makes it difficult on my joints and my psoriasis. This year, my shrink had me make a list of the positive things about Fall. On that list, I included things like leggings, boots, and football – nothing too deep and meaningful. In reality, I have changed a lot this Fall.
When the beautiful work of Whitacre came through my headphones this afternoon, my eyes filled with tears. Music has a way of making you feel things so much more deeply than you ever thought possible. In those moments, I was transported back to 2005. My senior year of high school. I’m standing on the field of a college football stadium, playing my heart out in a finals performance – one of my last as a senior. I had begged my mom to come to that competition, but she couldn’t. In those moments, it did not matter. I stood on a field with 279 other high school musicians, all playing with as much passion as a teenager could possibly muster up. The walls made of wood and fabric that are in front of us move to the side, revealing our strength and unity as we create lyrical greatness in the hit of the ballad. The tears roll down all of our cheeks, as we make amazing, moving music together. In that moment, despite an arm full of fresh cuts, time stood blissfully still and the world was perfect.
Today, the song October reminded me of the beauty that comes from change. The process is not always pretty, but the end result is breathtaking. As I prepare to say goodbye to cutting, something that has been such a huge part of my life for so many years, Eric Whitacre’s work reminded me today that letting go is supposed to be emotional; change is supposed to be emotional; it’s ok to cry; the end result will be far better than you could have ever imagined.
Please take the time to listen to this amazing piece of music. I promise you won’t be disappointed.