When I met Henri, he was a nameless cello that had come in as a consignment piece to Potter Violins, where I worked part time as a sort of gal-about the shop. He was far too loud, with too much quirk in his sound to appease other players. No, too rough around the edges for a professional. Of course, I loved him instantly and christened him Henri. As frequently as I could, I would abandon my post and play him, creating inside jokes and uncovering hidden sonorities. Our love affair was no secret, and in an act of hopeful generosity, they allowed me to take him home while I raised the money to purchase him.
There was something standing between us. And that something was a towering mountain of money.
With some help from friends far and wide, I was able to raise half of the money needed to bring us together. I am still astonished by how many people gave so much, and it continues to touch me deeply.
After the fundraiser, time went by and I could not find a way to raise the other half of the money. I began to lose sleep and think dark things.
One very early morning, after a night of little sleep, I came to the realization that if the money wasn’t there, I couldn’t have this cello. With tears rolling down my cheeks and a sense that I had disappointed everyone who had backed the campaign, I composed an email to the good people at Potter’s and played Henri one last time. Reality hurts.
But reality also meant that I had a fairly good chunk of change with which to find another cello.
And I have found another cello, and it is being worked on as I write this. It is not anything like Henri, nor will it have a name. But it is a fine instrument, and in need of love and appreciation: two things that through this experience, I have cultivated boundless amounts of.
So thank you, friends. Although things didn’t end up quite the way we had hoped, your generosity brought me to a better place. I could not have done it without you, and every note I play is dedicated to your kindness.