Months ago I chose this topic for the LBC Group. I had one particular person in mind when I did so. Alas, the group has shrunk for many reasons in the interim. I extend warm healing hugs to those with health issues and pray for a speedy recovery and return to the fold. Others distracted by family, love, exams, or work I would love to see you join us over the holiday time.
One of the many nuns in the school I attended was in charge of Scraping! In other words Scraping was the subject taught by Sr Mary Gertrude. She had a tiny room at the top of a flight of stairs right above the main front entrance to the school. We thought she was old. We only discovered how ancient she was when Mammy met her at a school concert. She taught my mother back in the dark ages! Mammy told us she was old even then.
So “What is scraping?” I hear you ask. I think it was supposed to be violin lessons, but it was sure hell to listen to, scawling cats make sweet music compare to the sounds from behind the door of Sr Mary Gertrude’s music room! My ears have never recovered.
Saying that… There is nothing I enjoy more than an orchestra of very young Primary/Junior school children playing on stage. The concentration on their faces as they watch the conductor, read the music and play the instrument all at the same time, is tear jerkingly wonderful.
I never learned to play any instrument, but there are two incidents in particular that stick in my mind.
About forty years ago while walking across O’Connell Bridge in Dublin as the sun was setting in the distance (in the direction of the Guinness Brewery), I stopped to enjoy the scene. At that precise moment the sound of a French Horn drifted towards me, it was so hauntingly beautiful that I was transfixed to the spot. Standing on the Halfpenny Bridge in the centre of my my sunset, stood the horn player in silhouette. I fell in love with life that night and all my troubles evaporated.
During Jack’s last weeks, he was an inpatient at Northern Ireland Hospice Care. On a regular basis a lady volunteer arrived in the afternoon with her Lyre. She would sit in the Corridor and gently play for the enjoyment of patients and staff. It had a very relaxing and comforting effect on everyone. When conditions allowed she visited the rooms and sought requests from patients or their families. Her repertoire was vast and much appreciated.
Finally, the other day I came across this recording of one of Nature’s wonderful natural instruments that I hope you will listen to and enjoy.