As stories do, this one came back to me recently.
It’s about trees that grow above the timber line where the land is harsh and rugged.
Maybe you can picture these trees in their little clusters clinging tenaciously in the cracks of the cliff. They are exposed to sleet, snow and roaring winds. Lashed without mercy, they are rarely perfectly shaped; instead they are contorted, mis-shapen and sometimes broken.
It is here that the violin-maker spends weeks in summer searching among these trees. Wind-twisted and storm-tossed they produce a extra flow of resins. He knows a rare and elegant sound is produced from the wood of these wind-tossed trees. The grain of the wood is of exquisite texture. The violin maker creates an instrument producing a resonance not found in other wood.
It takes an artist to draw resonance from the violin. My sister, Karen Beaton, is a fine fiddler. Listen to this selection from her fourth CD, Helping Hands. She is accompanied by Margaret MacGregor MacDonald.
I can’t stop heart-thinking about resonance. The word comes from the Latin verb resonare, meaning to “return to sound.” God is resonance, sounding us into being and we, whole fragments of sound, spend our lives returning to Sound.