“A Musician’s Writer’s Block”

Kayla Kovacs
Salamanca High School

I can hear the melody in my mind. A pathway has been cleared for it to travel. The notes flow effortlessly from my head, quickly through my shoulder and arm, then to my pencil, and onto my piece of paper. The mouse-like scratching of my pencil on the paper fills my heart with joy. “Genius”, I think to myself. The markings I make on the paper are finally graced with life. Then, out of nowhere, there is a sudden pause. The pathway has become cloudy as I stare into the void of blank paper in front of me. What now? My writing comes to an abrupt halt, my mind falls into the awful Abyss of Silence, a dark place that I am all too familiar with. My journey through another writing impediment begins.

The satisfying sound of my writing utensil has faded. I run my hand across the page. Half of it is indented with markings from the painting palette that is my mind, but the other half is flat and bland like an open field. As I lift my hand off of the page, the sound of silence in my head grows louder. It’s as if someone is screaming. However, despite the potential for the sound to be heard, it will never reach the ears of any living thing. I take a deep breath of the air around me, hoping to clear the pathway for my creativity to flow once again. I desperately attempt to retrieve the focus that has been stolen from me by the creatures that lurk in The Abyss of Silence. However, they make the passage, in which my thoughts once traveled, more indistinct the harder I try to surpass them.

I slump back in my chair, and look up at the tiles above me. I blankly stare into the space that makes up my ceiling. No colors for my mind to blend together, just insipid white tiles that sit so orderly above me. I am hoping to find some salvation staring up into nowhere, but it seems to only worsen my struggle. As I continue to lean back in my chair, I notice that my balance starts to shift and I begin to fall. I quickly catch myself, and sit up vigorously. My heart is now beating out of my chest. The movement that my body just made creates such a shock that it almost feels electric. I try to recollect myself after what could have been a disaster, and focus back to the task at hand. I pick up my pencil, and I begin trying to accumulate my thoughts that I had earlier.

I am now staring into the half-blank canvas that is my staff notepad. I still can only hear the ambient noises of the room that surround me, and not a trace of my music that I had created before. Why has the music vanished from my head? I am now craving the sound of my pencil against the notebook. How much more are these monsters that hide in The Abyss of Silence willing to strip me of? The sound of the writing utensil is a song all by itself, and I feel almost alone without it. It’s as if I am going through withdrawal. Why am I being left with only half of my previous moment of brilliance? Can’t these vile creatures of my mind let me have one moment of satisfaction? Is it out of my control, or am I just a failure?

I let out a moan of disgust. The room has been silent for so long that the sound that I produce seems to ring in my ears like a church bell. I have returned to my slouching position in my chair. The wooden back of the chair makes my backbone sore. I shouldn’t have even started this piece. This song is inadequate. My eyes dart back and forth from the ceiling to the half-finished piece of music that sits quietly on the top of my desk. I am now dealing with the internal conflict of whether to scrap the piece all together or not. If I scrap it, I could very well forget everything that was on the page before. However, I don’t think I would mind ridding myself of this garbage. It was obviously not as magnificent as I thought it was if I couldn’t even finish it. It was just another failed attempt for me to try and create art.

I slam my fists on the table with enmity. I then angrily lift my hands and pick up the note book. The pages flip around and I lose my place, but I quickly find my way back to the half-written piece. I violently tear the trash out of the notepad. I mutter some profanity under my breath and groan as I use my brute force to crumple the sad piece of paper into a rock-hard ball. I look to my left; there is a garbage can. This writing no longer has any value to me anymore. I just have to do it. I quickly throw my failure into the trash before I have any second thoughts about retrieving it.

I sit in almost complete silence for a second, with nothing but the beat of my heart to be heard. My pulse finally slows down to a walking pace, and I let out a deep, sorrowful sigh to relieve my stress. I briefly look back at the meager trash can sitting beside me. It wanted to speak to me; to tell me not to give up on my piece. I ignore its call to me, and stare at yet another blank piece of musical canvas. I climb out of The Abyss of Silence, and pick up my pencil, hoping to hear that beautiful song once again.

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