Monday, November 19, 2012


I'm sitting next to Lobo, listening to the strains of Serenada Espagnole played by my younger daughter and her violin teacher.  My kid goes to her house after school once a week, has been for about 6 years now, to not only sharpen, but truly realize a meaningful aspect of her musical talent.  Both my kids are nearly prodigious musicians with a natural feel for their respective instrument.  They've got highly sensitive and focused ears that I wish I had, and they both sing in a traditional Anglican choir.  I have, in recent years, come to understand just how much of a poor hack and a charlatan I really am in light of the prowess of my progeny, who seem to have a pretty good chance of doing something reasonable with what they've got.  Keeping them at it is the thing, but when I find myself "chasing rabbits" with them when it's practice time, I remember all the famous Grammy-winners I've ever heard thanking their moms and dads for all those years of constant prodding, and then I can muster up the energy to give them a good nagging.

Mrs. Freese is 85 or so, and used to play her violin on Broadway.  Her dad made her play hours a day, often not letting her leave her room until he was satisfied with what he heard coming through the door.  Her intonation has bent a few degrees south since those days of show-stoppers and ovations, and marriage to a man who wouldn't let her leave his sight has had to have some kind of adverse effect on her inspiration factor... but she's a good teacher, never leaning harder than what she perceives her student is willing to deal with.  She's got a good sense of where her students are at, and if the kid wants to play, they'll do it, she figures. 

Lobo is laying next to me on the old divan as I type, dozing fitfully while screeling glissandos sail and arc from a high D through the room.  He's a Pomeranian, small as a toy football and might be old enough to remember that day someone brought Fire back to camp.  He almost got put down last week, but seems to have come back, as it were; he took a fall halfway down the staircase a few days ago.  He's got a bum-leg, gets constipated a lot, and is currently severely dehydrated.  The whole house pretty much reeks of Lobo's presence- and incontinence.  But he's a good old fella, and it's certain that love suffers all things- especially little things, like not making it to the litter box.  I have a feeling we're going to be missing him pretty soon... and new carpets and some minor re-hab are going to be small consolation.  

 These animals we keep- the whole pedigree/breeding thing is so weird, and definitely un-natural, but somehow there seems to be an agreeable nature to the relationship.  Dogs generally accept their position as Man's Sidekick; even to the point of what appears to be the cheerful wearing of sweaters, hats, and other unlikely/human-like apparel.  They even- some of the more intensely bred varieties especially- seem to take on a sort of low-level humanity, even mimicking the personalities and nuance of their charges.  Dogs have an uncanny (pardon the suggestion of a pun) way of getting along with people, almost as if it's their commonly understood secret occupation to keep us company, help us out when the chips are their down-est, look out for us.  Even when, like Lobo here, we have to take care of them to the point of being a full-time nurse.  But I suppose they're giving us someone to bestow love upon, to keep us in some kind of good grace and keep us out of trouble.  Funny how I'm so ready and willing to believe there's some high-calling, some kind of mission these animals we've modified into our own likeness must be on.  I just came here for the violin lesson, and now I'm writing science fiction. 


1 comment:

  1. ...reminds me of taking my daughter, Emily to piano lessons. Yup, my kids were blessed with way more musical talent than I was. You have great musical talent, though, Rog. Joey