by Andy Betz
A wooden violin awoke one morning in the woods. He still retained both bow and strings and felt fairly confident his predicament was merely temporary. Not being able to produce music in his current condition, he decided to listen to the music the woods produced. He knew, by the calendar, it was autumn (which explained the lingering chill in the air and the presence of the traditional seasonal colors).
The violin bides his time and enjoys the orchestration. He hears the rustle of the leaves. He covets the whisper of the wind. The violin, however, finds the sway of the trees provides the scintillating kaleidoscopic accompaniment to the occasional snap of twigs or the effervescent landing of a single leaf to the forest floor.
Whether by chance or design, what the violin witnessed was an audial masterpiece. If only he could add to the arrangement. If only he could provide a pivotal note or a lingering echo (in a different octave) to the majesty of the woods without distorting its very essence. And with this singular thought, the violin felt empty. Here, among nature at its best, he could neither find a passage nor a solution to present his best. For without the assistance of another, the violin’s voice remained unheard; a docile spectator, unusually qualified, but impotent to participate in manner only he knew.
The man passing by (by not picking up the instrument) may as well have been blind. This made the violin (despite its creator’s intent) mute. And the woods, the host to all the sounds described before, became deaf to the one sound it could have (and should have) heard.
Andy Betz has tutored and taught in excess of 30 years. His novel, short stories, and poems are works still defining his style. He lives in 1974, has been married for 27 years, and collects occupations (the current tally is 100). His works are found everywhere a search engine operates.
Artist: Andres Chaparro