Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Violin Tears

A chorus of angels vibrated on the strings of the small, hallow instrument cradled under the jaw of the young man. He closed his eyes as he felt every note drawn by his bow across the Stradivarius. He had announced that it would be the last time for him to play that violin, and he could not afford another.

The Stradivarius had been a gift from his parents, but when he chose to use his talents for the purpose of his faith in Christ, they decided to take the violin back. He played for the last time at the Christian school I attended when I was a Freshman as the attorney for the musician's parents waited patiently for the concert to finish.

His sacrifice had angered me because I felt it ridiculous for any artist to give up his dream and because a world that could be touched was being robbed of the sound of angels. Along with the anger, I also felt an inspiration as the music wafted through my soul. I felt a desperate desire to one day reach the heavens with such a sound. However, I had been told my entire life by the musical prodigy that gave me life that I was tone deaf and devoid of musical talent, so I kept silent and never mentioned my longing to her.

Years later, as an adult, I cried while listening to violins play, and I relayed the story of the young man that had performed at my school. Soon I was given a student violin for my birthday, and lessons were arranged. Almost a month went by before I started the lessons, and I would daily walk past the delicate instrument and stare with longing, almost afraid to touch it. When the lessons finally began, I played daily to the great annoyance of my family. Two years went by as my ability grew with my love for music. I had also traded in my student violin for the best one that I could afford- a wonderful instrument that I have cherished. When my son was born, I had been working on my favorite piece of music- Pachelbel's "Kanon" in D major along with another of my favorites- Beethoven's "Fur Elise". The high-pitched tones of the violin bothered my baby's ears, so I quit playing.

He's four and a half now, and I picked up my instrument for the first time in years the other day, and I am sure the sound of small cats feeding an owl would have been more pleasant. Despite the disappointing welcome back into the world of music, the passion has grabbed a hold of me once again, and even as I am writing this, I feel the music calling me. In fact, today I made a sacrificial commitment to this art- I clipped all the fingernails of my left hand. Now I am ready to make angels cry.

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