When Music Makes a Scene

As part of a writing challenge, I wrote a scene inspired by Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18, Adagio Sostenuto. The music is wonderful, and you can listen to it by clicking here.

While I listened, I had these thoughts:

  • A great understanding
  • She realizes her true worth
  • A pleasant place has been found
  • Seeing God in natural things around her
  • Peace

As I began to write, the “her” in my thoughts became the girl in an image I discovered on a Black history website. No names were included with the image, so I named the girl “Netta.” The Rachmaninoff music moved me to write a poem-like paragraph within the scene that highlights a time of joy for her as she makes her way to a favorite and secret hideaway:

Netta was free.

No pig priming. No cotton picking. No running with the dogs to stomp the land.

No itching legs and bleeding palms.

She could sing, she could run, she could laugh,

See the sky, and look beyond what it was to what it could be.

There.

It led her down deep to the place of peace.

Though she wept, it was a cleansing joy,

a soul-lifting moment of free.


The image of the young girl (Arkansas, 1935) and the story it tells bring up a great sense of sadness in me. I cannot help but try to imagine a time of happiness for her.

So, I write.

2 thoughts

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