Dea Dolores Javorčić is an eighteen-year-old native of Croatia currently finishing her final year at the Second Language Gymnasium in Split. She has had a few successes in writing contests in elementary school and in high school. Dea Dolores wants to become a child psychologist.
Since I have moved more than fifteen times in my life, I have never felt there was a place I could call home. The only constant I ever had was my French horn. When I learned about this essay contest, I cried tears of joy because I really felt that this was the best way for me to show how much I love this particular instrument, and all the orchestral music I have ever heard. That French horn has heard all my cries, all my sad notes, and happy ones, too. It's been there for me when I had to escape loud arguments, when I needed someone to tell me I'm not a failure, to tell me it's not my fault that our father left, that he got cancer, that everyone left us with nothing. I played, and everything was perfect. In my toughest times, I would practice for twelve hours or more, and no one understood why. I'm crying while writing this because my home is soon going to be gone. Due to my specific circumstances, all I can ever call myself is an amateur. I’ve only ever played with a city brass band all these years. It pains me to know that I can't expect a miracle that would let me, at least once, play with a real orchestra in some concert hall. I love it so much, yet I can't have it. I'm going to share with you what I've not shared with anyone, since I'm not ashamed to be brave any more. I'm telling you this only to prove how healing music can be, how great a home it is for everyone. Some will find it in metallic or wooden instruments, some will press the keys of a piano or an accordion, some will damage their skin while trying to be closer to the music with their bones while aggressively playing the guitar, and some will gently dance with a violin. Some will even find it by combining empty and full bottles, key chains and their own two feet. Music will live forever in everyone and everything – that's why we all need it so much. Our own bodies moving with the sound of music are enough evidence. For me, it will always be a way to cope with being a victim of rape, a hope for a brighter future after years of hell. It saved me. My French horn saved me. I'll never be ashamed of that. Music really is the great escape that I will never say goodbye to, but I will have to wave goodbye to my French horn. I'll be dreaming of great concert halls and symphonies until one day I get it back and can gossip about perfect times with the four walls of my living room. Just my French horn and me, hidden from the world, not hearing neighbours complaining about the noise.