In a house at the edge of a long and narrow river, I am crying. I am three years old, anxious to play the first notes on the tiniest of violins available, as a woman in a long dress instructs me to lift the instrument from the space beneath my elbow, hold it tightly between my neck and chin, and gently cross the strings with my bow. I know the violin; long before I am ever allowed to hold the instrument, I watch as men in tuxedos shimmer under lights at the symphony, as women in the lobby kneel with the smallest of passersby, allowing young children to closely inspect their instruments as they describe the make and function of each body’s parts. More than anything, I want to stand before an audience, to strike each sound with its own careful resonance and put forth the sum total of a cumulative tradition of presence. Through pursed lips, I steady my wrist, ease the reeded shape through my shaky grip as the teacher pauses, carefully adjusting my frozen posture as I try through both sweaty palms and stilted frustration and to begin. Full story.
Rob Arcand (The Awl) / February 17, 2017