The Rainbow



The Rainbow


“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you have to put up with the rain. I waved my bow in the air, letting out an aggravated sigh. I was losing track of how many times I had repeated this one line. Staring at the black notes on the paper, I frowned. The sequence didn’t seem complicated. It was only a few measures that lasted mere seconds when played. But when I picked up my violin, my fingers couldn’t keep up with the notes. I glanced at the clock, registering the time: 11:02pm. Every member of my family was sleeping and I’d placed a mute on my violin to muffle the noise.

There were only two days left before competition day, and nothing was going right. I looked down at my fingers, noticing the definite red line that had emerged across them as a result of pressing down continuously on the wired strings. I stretched out my stiff neck, rolling my head in a circle.  I turned back to the first page of the sheet music and stared at the notes through my bleary, tear-filled eyes. It would be hours until I could get the sequence down.

 I’d been inspired to start playing violin after I came across a video of a professional orchestra. The soloist stood in the middle of the stage, the spotlight beaming down on her. Her hair was draped over her shoulder like a soft curtain, and her beautiful silky gown was covered in a million tiny rhinestones that refracted the stage lights. When she began to play, I was enchanted by the way the distinct sound of her violin managed to stand out strikingly among all the other violins that were playing, sharp and earnest. That day, without hesitation, I told my mom that I wanted to learn how to play the violin, though at the time I did not understand how difficult it would be to produce such refined music.

Now here I was at Carnegie Hall, looking up to see endless rows of seats in front of me, playing the same piece as the woman who’d inspired me all those years ago. A burning feeling is still piercing through my fingers. Though the pain hits me like a tsunami when I tear my fingers from the strings, looking at the smiles on my parents’ faces as the audience erupts into applause quickly overtakes the feeling.

I vividly remember the rain: the countless tears shed over sheet music during the late hours of the night, the dull pain in my fingers, now almost purple. But what was my rainbow? Was it the feeling of pride as my name was announced in first place in the competition? The weight of the gleaming trophy in my hand as the audience stood up to applaud once more? After pondering for another moment, I came to realize that my rainbow wasn't the accolades I received, but instead, my own triumph in mastering such a difficult piece.


Yeji Jeon


Yeji Jeon is a student and violinist from South Korea. She has previously had her work published in Literary Yard. 

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