The Fiddle

November 19, 2009 | By | Add a Comment


Now, although a fiddle may never be fooled by the folly of human thinking, very much like us, they have pain.  Their necks are stiff and their nerves, their strings, are stretched.  They feel the friction of the bow, and inside their beautiful brown little bodies they have only a little stick called a sound-post and an emptiness that seizes every inch of space – top to bottom, side to side.  Their emptiness is for them (as it is for us) a nearly unbearable ache – an ache that is fitted to the shape that makes its tone.  And sometimes a fiddle is tempted to fill that void with rags or glass or gold, even knowing that, if it should do that, it would never resonate the intentions of its fiddler.  It would never again be alive with his music.  It would dull itself to the exquisite heat of the fiddler’s will, the deliberate tenderness of his fingers.

And so, they resist.  They resist so that they can respond.

Some fiddles have lived without eyes or ears or innards for a couple hundred years.  They would die, though, if they were denied a fiddler.

– Rich Mullins, The World As I Remember It: Through the Eyes of a Ragamuffin

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