Give In

Photo collage by Emily Martin

Photo collage by Emily Martin


Today I ran as fast as my legs could carry me 
to the top of a mountain near my home.
I saw a sun saturated city out of the corner of my eye
and felt my muscles working out of the corner of my consciousness.
The center of me though
was in the trees and my breathing.
It is several miles up and down that mountain
and it isn’t flat.
Today I also walked past a sun saturated window
on my way to perform Blavet’s Sonata No 4.
Can you guess which one turned my heart into a war drum of adrenaline,
my legs into a pair of quivering birch trees?
I know words; I am made of words.
They’ve always been there for me, whether “there” is at the tip of my tongue
or the tip of my pen.
Music is different.
I can write poems–
I know how words sound and what they mean beyond what the dictionary tells you.
I have favorite words and favorite sounds and favorite ways to say them,
favorite orders in which to string them to make sentences.
Don’t get me wrong: I love to play music; I love to breathe music into silver
and have something rich come out that’s prettier than any precious metal,
yet I am more a master of my words than of my notes.
Sure, sometimes the page makes me a slave, but I end up on top in the end–usually.
I’m still learning my favorite notes.
I’m still learning my favorite way to say them, my favorite order in which to string them to make sentences.
Jazz is the poetry of music, and I am god-awful at jazz–
I’m still learning the science of sound waves!
Still learning the grammar rules that lead from a fundamental to a harmonic!
The science of sound waves is a beautiful thing, and I will learn it inside and out.
But today?
I was in doubt.
I don’t trust the tones that sound like gold to flow out of me without hardly asking 
every sinew in my body, knotted and trembling from the strength needed,
to tie my will and my instrument together with my breath.
Music has not made me a slave. It has made me a soldier.
How does one become equal to art?
Maybe you don’t. Maybe... you give in.
Giving in is not giving up. Giving in is becoming a part of your art, surrounding yourself 
so that the center of you is on your breathing and the work of your muscles
fits only along the very rim of your consciousness.
There will be no room for doubt.

Ilse Stacklie-Vogt-crop.jpg

Ilse (17) finds the whole world inspiring, but performance art especially so. And also sunrisesñshe thinks a good sunrise is very inspiring. 

Ilse Stacklie-Vogt