After the concert is done, the aunt stares down at the stage until the musicians have left and the audience has scattered. The two last paragraphs of the story beautifully summarize her emptiness.
"I spoke to my aunt. She burst into tears and sobbed pleadingly, 'I don't want to go, Clark, I don't want to go!'"
"I understood. For her, just outside the door of the concert hall, lay the black pond with the cattle-tracked bluffs; the tall, unpainted house with weather-curled boards; naked as a tower, the crook-backed ash seedlings where the dishcloths hung to dry; the gaunt, molting turkeys picking up refuse about the kitchen door."
For some reason, I really connected with that passage. Although generations separate myself from that hardworking woman of the plains, and our circumstances could hardly be more different, I still have her fear. Sometimes the joy of music seems too good to be true - and sometimes I'm so scared that someday I, too, might lose it.
Two years ago this week I got one of my best birthday presents ever - my cheap little Czech warhorse of a violin. It's amazing the places that instrument and I have been together, and all the barriers we've broken together, and all the ideas we've shared together. All the ear-drums we've broken together...ha ha.
I've been thinking about sending my violin a "happy anniversary" card or something - I feel it deserves something for having dealt with me so patiently for so long - but unfortunately I have a feeling Hallmark doesn't carry "happy anniversary violin" cards. I guess a good polish, some Bach, and new strings will have to do.
- that orchestras should take the summer off?
- that male musicians should wear bow-ties?
- that performers should wear white in the summer?
- that stringed instruments should have f-holes?
- why not s-holes or i-holes or l-holes?
- that orchestras should wear formal attire?
- that the bottom of the bow should be referred to as the "frog"?
- that harmonics are possible?
- that horsehair would make a string vibrate?
- that a chunk of wood with strings on it could sound so gorgeous???
More entries: August 2004 June 2004
Violinist.com is made possible by...
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins
Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine