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Mendy Smith

Learning from a Disability

October 8, 2012 at 12:24 AM

This broken and mangled finger of mine, though a temporary disability, has taught me much in the past week (besides keeping fingers clear from garage doors!).


A few days after the accident, I got the all clear from the hand surgeon to start playing again with the admonishment to be gentle. That evening, I went to lessons and tried handling the bow for the first time.

It was odd, my splinted right finger seemed to affect what was going on in my left hand. I felt disoriented and confused. My balance off. I also realized how little I engaged my 4th finger on the bow and how necessary that little finger really was to have a balanced bow hand.

I went home and over the next few days practiced ever so slowly and deliberately. I could only practice for 15 minutes at a time before my bow hand became tired. After a few more days, I found a new balance.

Why I am I pushing myself? Well, I play in my sister's wedding in a few weeks. This afternoon I made some recordings to send to my sister so she had something to practice her processional walk with. When I previewed them, I was frankly astonished by how more clear my tone was and how it projected much more than it did before. And surprisingly, my left hand performed better as well.

There is still work to be done, but heck.... not so bad with a broken finger.

From Lisa Van Sickle
Posted on October 8, 2012 at 1:35 AM
That's a really scary photo, Mendy, and a nasty place to cut yourself. Amazing you managed to avoid severing tendons (or worse). I hope it heals quickly and completely. As you said in the first blog, if you were going to get hurt, that finger may be the easiest one to get along without for a few weeks. But still, OW!!!
From Corwin Slack
Posted on October 8, 2012 at 8:09 PM
That picture really gives me the creeps. Yuck. I hope you have a speedy recovery. Shivering.
From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on October 8, 2012 at 8:20 PM
Hi, the picture is very frightening! You are very courageous!

I wish you the best wedding music! As you said... I would not have known about your finger when you play... Bravo!

From Kevin Keating
Posted on October 8, 2012 at 9:14 PM
Wow, looks nasty. But your playing sounds great. I wouldn't have guessed that your finger was injured that bad.
I injured my left thumb at work this week myself. A razor scraper slipped out of my right hand and stabbed the backside of my left thumb just forward of the wrist. No tendons were cut fortunately, but there is numbness in the thumb that hasn't lessened yet. The hand specialist says it may heal on its own. I hope so.
Surprisingly, my playing hasn't been that affected. But as a musician, it is very frightening when you injure your hands.

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