The road ends, but the journey continues...

Anna's Hawk

As hubby and I drove the last few yards towards our driveway coming home from an outing the other day, the soundless swoosh of a hawk made its dramatic landing by the side of the road. Just as suddenly, it took flight to
In those few moments, the raw heft of this bird of prey left a palpable presence. Bringing to mind my friend Anna’s novel, The Hawk. 
I’ve been reading it on Smashwords, where she has self-published many of her other novels. I respect the fact that as a creative (he)artist, she does the work necessary to get her work out there for others to enjoy.
She believes her novels are examples of faith in action.  As she says: “And this is where faith comes into the process; it’s trusting your instincts as a creative force to just let the words, or whatever artistic tools you choose, go where they will.”
Thank you Anna for that reminder.
My musical life has been largely cloistered these past few years, which goes against my natural inclination.  I’m used to having a local creative community to call upon when needed for face to face interactions.  Networking with people of like mind, the purpose of which is to grow our ideas, account for our projects, offer support, even interject different perspectives to approach, especially when confronted with creative road blocks.
And yet my Swimming with Swans: the music is closer to completion than if I’d been living in a more culturally conscious community.
I guess in a way, I’m continuing to ‘create by faith.’
In a recent conversation with my hubby, it came out that we do what we do because we have to, because it is in our bones, because it is breathed and lived and has to be birthed. There is no promise that a project will see the light of day or other eyes, or in my case, an audience of ears to hear; but there is always a tug of hope no matter how miniscule. Hope that the (he)art I was put on this earth to do will not only come to pass, but be heard, be read, be produced and shared with others.
My ‘faith in action’ is walking each day, doing what needs to be done regardless. And of course, that includes the grunt work required to get it out there for others to enjoy. Shaping it into a presentable body of work that stands tall and is independent of myself.
At one and the same time this is exciting and frustrating.
I should mention that all Swimming with Swans: the music pieces are completely done composition-wise.  At the very least, they are hand-scored, and have been rehearsed by myself.  Various sections and pieces have been sight read and critiqued by three colleague-friends. But like writing a novel, penning ‘the end’ does not mean the end.  Once composed and scored, come all manner of revisions and edits.
I’ve been in several rounds of ‘edits’ with the three separate compositions I’ve chosen to focus on as the first tier of pieces to complete.  Like Zeno’s Paradox, it seems with each round of refinements I get closer to, yet farther from, completion.
Scoring on my NOTION software has been a real treat, but in the fine tuning of those scores, it’s getting to be tedious.  I find myself pushing the score playback button to remind myself what a great piece of music I’ve written.  😉  Thus wasting precious time.
Off the computer screen and on the practice stool, I’m working out fingering, notating interpretive info as well as keeping my chops up on all the parts to eventually record.
And ya know what? I’m loving every bit of it.

“…most people enjoy listening to music, while only a few enjoy creating it.”
from: ‘A Geometry of Music’ by Dmitri Tymoczko


  1. Donna

    That is a great image Laura. “Create by faith,” it sounds like a good way to seek an expressive direction.

    • laura bruno lilly

      The image feels like a soaring of one’s spirits, doesn’t it?

  2. L. Marie

    It is nice to hear about your process. I’m also in revision mode, but for my novel. Soon some friends (I almost typed the word FIENDS) will critique it.
    Like you, this is a faith journey. I have no idea what will happen when I come to the end of the road. All I know is to keep working on it.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Like my tagline says: The road ends, but the journey continues

  3. Geralyn

    Interesting post about your process composing music. It’s very much like writing but I’ve never thought about that. I hear a piece of music and assume the composer just magically created it. 🙂 Silly me! I just took a writer’s workshop on Saturday; we all agreed that writing is worthwhile whether it’s ever published or even read by anyone.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yep, I agree, writing, composing, creating in general is all worthwhile because it’s all about the process. And lots of that process certainly feels like magic!

  4. Anna Scott Graham

    The actions of the (he)artist are myriad and mystifying, manifesting in projects beautiful yet sometimes veiled. May the frustration be minimal, the excitement palpable, bringing to the music all the magic and depth and blessedness. And any necessary hawks for good measure! 😀

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you for such a refreshing blessing!

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