The unexpected grandeur was almost more than I could handle. I have never felt my spirit soar quite like this, having explored the entire interior of Alaska this month. Being in the midst of such untouched beauty is exactly what the doctor ordered to renew my soul after losing so much personally last year.
Part of the trip was a luxury cruise, and like most cruises, one has a tendency to get a bit lazy eating way too much. It did not surprise me that my teenage daughter went in one direction, and hubby and I went in another. There was a small lounge on our way back to the cabin that had hourly entertainment, and it was there that my ears instantly lead me to, almost as if I had to go listen. From a distance I could hear the delicate but soulful draw of the bow against the violin, an instrument I have always had an affection for. In the wrong hands, this instrument can make your head hurt and create cringes as powerful as nails on a chalkboard. In the right hands, it will bring the listener to tears.
The group was originally from the Philippines, with one on the violin and another on classical guitar. What drew me to their sound was the perfection of what I heard, and “perfection” is not a word I use easily. Having studied classical music for most of my childhood and adolescence, I knew a pro when I heard them. The violin is a temperamental instrument, so when you found someone who could make it sing, it was always worth listening.
During their short break, the violin sat by itself on the polished black baby grand. Alone, it was a pretty thing, but it was just an inanimate object that sat there waiting for its owner. It was powerless without him. The gentleman dressed in black returned, picked up the violin, and nestled it under his chin, drawing his bow in preparation to play.
From the moment that bow met with the strings, I knew that this wooden instrument was more a part of him than his own arm. He had clearly dedicated his life to the pursuit of beautiful music and had a love affair with this violin, rarely seen. It was not a matter of commanding the violin to do what he wanted; it was a matter of letting his spirit invade it and the two becoming one. He played classics from all eras, including some easy listening, some classical, some love songs. My eyes never left his upper torso, witnessing how much love he had for the sound they created together, and how his body moved with the violin, bringing it to life. The violin was only too happy to perform.
Corny as it sounds, when he started playing Somewhere Over the Rainbow, I just lost it and the tears came. Never had I heard such clarity, felt such powerful emotion and admiration … on a cruise ship for that matter! His talent was wasted here in the middle of the North Pacific, or so I thought before realizing how much pleasure he brought to those who were listening.
I don’t know his name, this stranger who brought me to tears. Perhaps it was the breathtaking scenery of ice capped mountains, icebergs, and glaciers that had already touched me. what I do know is how rare it is to find someone who has dedicated themselves to one thing, in the quest of being the best they can be. Clearly, he had a calling and a gift, but we all do whether we realize it or not. The time has come to look within ourselves to uncover our gifts so that we can move forward in our lives, touching others with our gifts. I believe this is the purpose of our lives.
Whoever he is, he will never know the positive impact he had on me. I can only hope someone will discover him and get him on a stage where he can touch many more!
©2013 The Estate Lady®
Julie Hall, The Estate Lady®, is the foremost national expert on personal property in estates, including liquidating, advising, and appraising. http://www.TheEstateLady.com She is also the Director of American Society of Estate Liquidators®, the national educational and resource organization for estate liquidation. http://www.aselonline.com