I almost bought a new violin today, and it really sounded good!

I am not parting with my old one though, which also sounds good, and I’m happy knowing that it would sound even better in more skillful hands.

Years ago, my wife, Joanne, found this old Stradivarius copy at a garage sale, and brought it home to me. The back edge of the violin was crushed a little due to someone over-tightening the chin rest. I put new strings on it, and was really surprised at how well the damaged instrument played.

It sounded so good, that I thought, “this fiddle deserves to be restored”; so I went to a luthier and got an estimate for the repair. The cost was doable, but after playing that violin for several years, and staring at the damaged back every time I picked it up, I began to appreciate it just the way it was.  

It was flawed, but I was still able to draw out sounds that we’re pleasing to me, notwithstanding my occasional wrong note.

The old fiddle eventually became kind of a frequent visual reminder to me of our own imperfect nature — that was once so finely crafted, but now flawed.

I’ve come to appreciate the symbolism of Joanne’s gift, so I’ve decided to just touch up a few of the cosmetic imperfections, and play it just as it is . .

. . .the way it was given to me.

A guest blog from my brother!

About johndiestler

Retired community college professor of graphic design, multimedia and photography, and chair of the fine arts and media department.
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