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Embrace the Fear

Teach Us to Love: Finding Unconditional Love through Communion with God
Donna D'Ingillo

I know that all of this is just my mind's way of distracting itself from its fear, but I have to embrace the fear, dive into the middle of it with my mouth open. That is what art is all about. I must be willing to drown in order to learn to swim, to shove my hands into the messy interior and pull it into the exterior. The irony is that one needs to transcend thought in order to make it tangible. I need to be present in the music the way I used to be. But it's not comfortable to be present, now. There are sharp, stabbing pains in my fingers and in my back and neck. I keep practicing Czerny every day to work through it, but the pain does not go away. However, the pain is not the worst part: I'd rather feel pain than nothing at all. It's the numbness, like I'm feeling in my left hand right now--or rather, not feeling, I guess. How does one express what the sensation of lacking sensation feels like? I can't feel the keys! I can see that they are still there, but my hand does not know it, and yet, it is still moving. Oh, God, it kind of looks like a chicken with its head severed from its body: moving without feeling, purpose, or direction. I do not recognize this hand, anymore, but I know it is mine; I must take responsibility for it. Yet, as hard as I try, I cannot make it mind. Now, I know how mothers of delinquent children feel. . . . Again, I feel Paul's eyes upon me. This time, I am sure he notices, for I feel his agitation. Leave me alone! I want to shout. I have no room for your condemnation. I feel badly enough! Mind over matter. Power of thought. Body memory. Come on! Surely one of these will work! ...

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