Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I passed a concert hall and noticed an old violin case sitting on a bench looking forlorn. I sat down beside it and we started to chat.
Violin case? Are you okay?
VIOLIN CASE: No.
VIOLIN CASE: I hate getting old.
Me too. What’s your deal?
VIOLIN CASE: Well, you know, I carry music inside me. An extraordinary violin. There is nothing more beautiful than the moment I open and its melodies fill the world.
I know! There’s nothing more incredible than hearing a violin sing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.
VIOLIN CASE: That’s my favorite too. But as the years go by, it gets harder to be my violin’s case.
Why is that?
VIOLIN CASE: More and more things happen to me during the course of life. At this point, I’m worn. I mean, look at me. My leather skin is torn after being banged between subway doors and bumping into turnstiles at concert halls year after year–
I see that. No offense.
VIOLIN CASE: None taken. And one of my buckles doesn’t close properly anymore. I’ll probably have to go for buckle replacement. And my handle is loose, so when someone carries me, I’m crooked. And the worst thing is…ah…never mind. I’ll shut up. You don’t want to hear my problems.
All I can say is, you’re not alone. I’m a case, too.
VIOLIN CASE: Are you serious? For what?
My soul. My spirit.
VIOLIN CASE: But you can’t see a spirit. How do you know it’s there?
I just know. I feel it. And when that spirit comes out, it brings such beautiful thoughts and words into the world. And such warmth and love to its family and friends. And sometimes it brings laughter. That’s my favorite.
VIOLIN CASE: That makes me smile.
But like you, as the years go by, it gets harder to be the case. I’m not as strong as I once was. My lower back isn’t as strong as it used to be. I have to exercise a lot to be sure it’s aligned and I won’t dislocate a disc.
VIOLIN CASE: Ah.
And my stomach doesn’t digest food as well as it used to, so sometimes I don’t have as much energy as I’d like. And my brain isn’t as sharp so I don’t remember names of people or phone numbers as quickly, and–
VIOLIN CASE: Here’s what I think. I feel, as a case, I won’t go on forever. But the music inside me will.
That’s exactly the way I feel about my spirit.
VIOLIN CASE: But for now….oh how I want to be here.