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Saturday, December 7, 2013

A #Pearl. By John von Daler

                         The elderly former violinist sat in one corner of the antique sofa peeking over the edge of his journal at the dull December weather on the side street in #Frederiksberg, Denmark.  He had paused in his reading in order to ascertain the origin of a feeling. The origins of feelings are a topic dear to the hearts of former violinists.

                The little livingroom now converted into a coffeeshop with room for twenty or so paying guests was presently empty, alas. Alas because the former composer wanted to maintain this oasis in his life, a caffelatte twice a week in a pleasant room, served with grace by a former baller dancer now hostess. He found it imminently pleasing to sit here and read while sipping.
                He surveyed the empty wooden sofas and antique coffee tables adorned with doilies. Taking a sip of his coffee he started to trace the feeling of melancholy that was rising, oddly enough, like a setting sunset in his breast. He did not search long for the origin.
                You might say that he had added a grand pause into the score of his life. He had turned away from music and now spent most of his time writing. Undoubtedly that abrupt turnabout had not taken place without a price.
                In the corner of the room the baller dancer's little radio was broadcasting #Poulenc, a piece of chamber music full of woodwinds and a piano. He had forgotten Poulenc - as indeed the world often forgot Poulenc - even as he had forgotten his violin. Now the music swelled abruptly in him like the soundtrack to some unknown #Truffaut film, black and white with subtitles you had to read and a protagonist too egoistic to make a good life, too charming to be shunned by the world, too silly to be taken seriously, and too ordinary not to represent us one and all. The old former violinist watched the film inside him and listened to Poulenc while he looked out the window and remembered what he had left behind.
                Snap! Abruptly the filmstrip broke. The good, old days of Truffaut and Poulenc and of the violinist himself were not digital days; they were more fragile than that. With the sound of the snap and the glaring white light on his inner screen the violinist felt a large tear swelling in one eye. He let it stay there hoping that the ballerina might lift her cloth from the counter and with outstretched legs leap to his side to wipe up the drop, squeezing it into a precious little glass jar for safekeeping, a remembrance of this melancholy little day.
                But the lady did not budge, nor did she see the drop of saltwater. The former violinist let it stay where it was in the corner of one eye. A pearl, he thought, maybe if I leave it there long enough, the irritation will turn it into a pearl. And he went back to his reading.

                My book, Pieces: A Life in Eight Movements and a Prelude (WiDo Publishing) is now available. Order through, the publisher or your local bookstore. Click to buy Pieces at the top of the blog. Please feel free to write a short review of the book in your own language at or GoodReads. Thanks for your support!


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