Last week, I did something I’ve done hundreds of times before in my life:
I took hot food out of the oven.
Not that difficult, right?
Except, well, my arm brushed against the side of the oven. Not the oven rack, which has happened before, but the wall. I didn’t realize it at the time and thought an ice cube for a few minutes would take care of the problem.
(I’d show more photos, but my phone and computer aren’t cooperating. If you’re curious, you can visit my Instagram for photos.)
Almost a week later, thanks to my allergies to everything under the sun, I’m swathed in antibiotic cream, Telfa, mesh bandaging, and rolled gauze. Plus tape.
Before I had the rolled gauze, I had to resort to using the top of a sock to keep the bandaging in place. Quite the fashion statement! Since I’m wearing navy blue today, the gray-topped sock had to go. Obviously. 😀
I’ve still been uncomfortable, but healing wounds itch. It’s a good sign, right? Still, it’s lucky the dressing has kept me from scratching off the newly formed skin. (That may or may not have happened the first night, waking me with the pain.)
In the meantime, I took a trip to the local church music store.
It was a charming, old-fashioned affair, more reminiscent of a music library than a place of business. Someone had been kind enough to set aside a stack of violin books for me, and I took almost an hour choosing one for my current skill level (which is abysmal).
After much deliberation, I chose this one. Oh, Mel Bay. Is it a little embarrassing to play a Mel Bay arrangement when I used to work on concert pieces? Yes, but this is what happens after a seven-year hiatus. There were prettier arrangements beyond my ability (for now, I hope!), but this looked both manageable and somewhat pleasing to the ear.
If the arrangements are clunky, at least my stiff hands and arms can manage them. If my playing is clunky, at least the music is stolid enough to withstand the beginner-level notes.
How Great Thou Art, or O Store Gud, has a serviceable arrangement. Not a great one for violin (flats are hard for a beginner, and I am a second-time-around beginner). But I picked up my violin, tuned, and played.
I made it well past the mark of last time when I could barely play half a page before my arms ached. My vibrato’s too tight, my bow hits the wrong strings occasionally, and I hurry when I should let my bow sweep deep and resonant through the long, low notes.
With a sore, bandaged arm.
With a father back on a respirator and still struggling to breathe.
In the midst of everlasting drama and difficulties.
My arm itches madly, and I remind myself.
The itch is good.
Discomfort means the wound is healing.
Will my father recover? No one knows. But I can pick up my violin, saw through rudimentary tunes, and lose myself in the wonder of music.
How great Thou art.