Going Back to an Old Love
I did not have a lot of years learning to play the violin. I remember I got into it because of three classmates who were already taking lessons, and also because of the encouragement of an old childless distant uncle in a neighboring town who wanted a relative to inherit his old violin. It was a unique violin with the head of a dragon instead of a scroll, and a distinctly deep beautiful sound.
I took sincere interest in the violin because my mom was willing to pay the same violin teacher to come to our house once a week and give me one-hour lessons for two pesos. He always appreciated a refreshment of a bottle of Royal Tru Orange whenever he came for my lessons. His name is Mr. Ruperto Libunao of San Miguel in the neighboring province of Bulacan, who also owned a band that many towns in the provinces hired during their annual town fiestas.
Two of my friends were a little more advanced than I. At our first recital I played "Blue Bells of Scotland" and "Waves of the Danube." They played more difficult pieces. At some point our church choir director took notice and she invited us to play at Masses with the choir on special feasts and at barrio fiestas where there was always a sung Mass. The polyphonic Mass compositions then were beautiful and majestic as they were solemn. (I do not hear them anymore.) The choirs had at least 3 voices.
I loved my violin. Playing it gave me a lot of enjoyment and a way to relax. However, when I went to college, I did not bring my violin with me and did not continue my lessons. So just like in any other instrument, my skill level stagnated and even deteriorated for lack of practice.
After a long time, I went back to taking more advanced lessons and stopped again. A few years ago, my left pointer finger got infected, necessitating surgery. The healing process required therapy where I needed to bend the finger as it healed. But because of the pain involved in the exercise, the finger healed improperly and I could not bend it the same way as before. That made me think that I would never be able to play the violin anymore even if I wanted to go back to it. But I rejected the idea of just listening to violin music that I enjoy instead of making it myself.
Youtube provided the answer and encouragement. One can self-study with its tutorials and listen to violinists of all skill levels. I do not aspire to learn to play difficult pieces, for the violin is a difficult instrument to master. I only desire to be able to play some simple pieces that will lift my heart to the beauty of classical violin music, for in that beauty I can feel the beauty of God, Who is the Source and Creator of all beautiful things. In fact He is All Beauty Himself. Playing the violin draws me easily to communing with Him. It soothes my soul. . . and it expresses what is in it #
"Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would not have been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace." (From The Confessions of St. Augustine.)