Friday, April 27, 2007


The cello will be my downfall! At work, the school's bell choir often practices in the foyer outside my office. This is all fine and well, but today they had a girl playing the cello with them. For some reason, the cello pulls and tugs at me and makes me want to cry the way no other sound does. It is tugging things loose.

You see, when I started taking this medicine, I stopped crying. I am guessing this is because my medicine is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, meaning that in addition to managing my pain threshold it has the bonus side-effect of also being an anti-depressant. Last year, when Nancy got sick, I started crying on a pretty regular basis. When she died I began crying pretty much every day. When I started on the medicine, it suddenly stopped, and it was rather jolting.

However, I don't think I'm done grieving. It is similar to how the medicine works on my pain: I can still tell that something is not right, that the pain is still there just below the surface, I just can't feel it. Similarly, I feel like my grief is still there, just below, being numbed out by neurotransmitters. And, just as drastic shifts in barometric pressure strip the numbing layer off my pain threshold, some things open up the emotional haze like a seam-ripper.

That brings us back to the cello. Still, it fascinates me how tone and sound can evoke such strong and specific emotional responses. Sound is a mystery to me, something I can't grasp the way I can drawing and painting. It is always so sharp, too. My exposure to the cello is pretty low, I'd say (except when I was questing in the damned blood elf land with its damned blood elf music. I was teary-eyed through the whole zone!), so it always surprises me how strong I react to it. And it's a very specific tone, too. The bass is too low and the other strings too high to make me weepy.


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