Olive branch

I like to know the meaning of things and people. A deeply meaningful life to me is an unashamed growing out of the origin of both darkness and light.

Emotions can physically hurt. It takes courage to look them in the eye and make friends with them. Once you do, you open up the space of awareness and mindfulness from which a free life can develop. Free to create. Free to make a better ending to your story.

Names have meaning embedded in them by way of people making sense of other people. Naming is bringing into existence, choosing a name for someone or something is defining the type of existence you can see connected with that person or thing.

My desire to create is a root that I noticed as a teenager as well. I have enjoyed classical piano lessons until the age of 20 and realised then that interpreting others’ compositions wasn’t the art I wanted to grow in. Why could I play the piano but not create my own melodies? I tried the best I could to make musical sense of the overwhelmingly long board of black and white piano keys but could only find bits and pieces that lacked and made me feel embarrassed to repeat. I realised that I was trying to compete with the composers of old and to come up with songs just as elaborate as their sonatas, preludes and fugues.
“I’ll probably have to unlearn all of these constructs before stumbling upon what the piano can mean to me”, I thought.

︎ back to home

At first, when I searched as a teenager, I was disappointed that my name doesn’t have a character quality attached to it. Not like “the wise” or “fights with fierce” or similarly empowering phrases. All I could find was “[the flower] Jasmin is part of the family of olive plants”.
But recently I looked again and realised that olive trees not only symbolise peace but because they are self sufficient and thrive over thousands of years they are a symbol of quintessence which survives old forms and renews itself from the roots up. Like phoenixes from ashes. And you can cook delicious meals with olive oil.

Roots have recently become very important to me. The deeper the roots run, the higher and stronger the plant can grow. And like olive trees that grow fresh sprouts even from burnt trunks, rooting in loneliness, grief and letting go has become essential to my own ability to renew my outlook daily, to take a breath when shame rolls in, to choose lightness, choose now, choose love.

So I stopped. For about 10 years. Then I was asked to play the glockenspiel for my husband’s indie band and suddenly there they were - intriguing, simple melodies. I still wouldn’t touch the piano, so add another 5 years. And then one day, while watching movies, I started to pay attention to the film scores. The tunes that got me lived between classical and indie folk, a range that suddenly made sense to me. “I think I could do that”, I thought, and uncovered my E-piano from its hiding place.

When I sit at the piano, I mostly feel like dancing. I recognise the emotion that makes me move on the inside and I try to let my fingers move accordingly. No matter that they sometimes feel rusty. What matters to me is pulling from that well of melodies that somehow was there inside of me all along. Who knew? Possibly my name did.


. Jasmin Seidl 2021.. All rights reserved. .