Wednesday, September 2, 2009
With the fall of this year comes Hedgie's first cello lessons.
In my family this is one of the most important rites of passage, the day you play the first sweet and terrible notes of your very own instrument. I can barely remember the details of my first violin lessons--I was only five--but I do remember how timid and awestruck I was--the only feeling that has come close since was the first time I held baby Hedgie in my arms, afraid to break her. How heavy the quarter-size violin was in my little arms then, how amazing the alchemy of bow to string and then sound...although the little screeches and scritches must have been dreadful indeed to the ears of my patient listeners.
My violin has been with me on my journey for nearly 35 years now, a steadfast companion always, whether spurned or beloved, through all the times musically fallow and musically fertile. Its sturdy presence shielded me from the parodically cruel tendency of Emily, my second teacher, to discipline by rapping her own bow hard across my knuckles. It was the helpful wing-man in my pursuits of a proto-Severus, black-haired Peter with the glowing pallor, the first violin in my high school string quartet (how I quavered under his gaze as he reminded me, with a haughty little tip of his bow, to come in on the correct note). My violin and I spent long afternoons together in the music rooms of my college, and it never complained that I took frequent breaks to stare out the windows at the rain, at the trees changing to fall and then from fall to spring...
We have come all this way from our long-ago beginning. There it is in the corner now, waiting for the rosined bow and for me.