I met an acquaintance last week, who honoured me with a sad story from his childhood. I have weaved this tale from my imagination, so even though the details are fiction, the core of the story is true.
I can see him as he was back then, a bright seven-year-old holding the hand of his beloved father. Together they enter the concert hall, settle down amidst the plinging of instruments warming up. He likes it there in the darkness, hand in hand with the person he loves most.
The spotlight on stage picks out the young violinist as he becomes one with his instrument, his body an elongated note of music. The boy holding his father’s hand floats away on the music, carried on its shoulders to new heights of love and inspiration.
“I want to play like that for my father,” he says. For the next few years, he practises his love, playing it out with every stroke of the bow on string.
At last, after six years, he is ready for his own concert; his own spotlight.
I see him there – trembling on the stage – caressing the violin with his bow, creating beautiful notes that he leaves at this father’s proud feet as a gift.
The father’s love for his boy is reflected in his tears.
Soon after the boy gives his first concert, his father dies.
And the boy never picks up the violin again.
That young boy is now over 60 years old with children and grandchildren of his own. Yet he told me his story with love and tears in his eyes. Such is the power of love.
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