Friday violin lessons were fast becoming something of a routine. Mr L would ring the doorbell at precisely ten o’clock, Mom or Dad (depending on who was present at the given time) would brew him coffee while he tuned the instrument, and I would go over this weeks lesson, pretending to comprehend the notes on the page.
This week, Mr L produces a melancholy snippet after tuning my violin, allowing a sorrowful longing to rise up the living room’s high ceiling. His shoes were flat against the stone tiles, but his soul was floating up with the music.
Satisfied with the tune, he hands me the violin and picks up his cup of coffee.
“What’s his name?”
He meant my violin.
I hadn’t even considered its gender.
“Yes,” Mr L said scandalized, his mouth agape. “He must have a name.”
And why shouldn’t it—he? An instrument, after all, has a soul to its sound. It could emit feelings that were beyond verbal expression. Why shouldn’t it—he—have a name?
“I’ll give you a minute to think,” Mr L took another sip of coffee.
My mind did an uncomfortable free-fall through a rabbit hole of ideas (yes, that’s a thing…a little quirk of mine) until it collided with one too imposing to avoid. Hamish came to mind. There was no explanation—the time for justifications had yet to come—just a name.
“Hamish,” I said decisively—although why I was so decisive was beyond me.
“Hamish?” Mr L repeated, allowing the name to linger on his lips.
“Yes,” I nodded, casting a fond glance at my violin. “Hamish.”
Only four days later did I come up with an origin story.
Late last December, during Christmas break, I became so enamored with Hamish Macbeth—an entirely fictional character.
How could I not have been?
Hamish Macbeth was unambitious and timid, and at some point, my pursuit of this hobby fits into that characterization. Do I expect to play in a great concert hall in front of a crowd of people? No. Not at all. Do I plan to religiously work at the violin for three hours straight every single day? No. Does it mean this cannot be an extraordinary experience? No.
In fact, it may just work the other way around.
A drastic change in character rarely happens all at once. Instead, it goes about like an ant climbing a hill—it doesn’t even see the top. It just keeps climbing, and climbing, and climbing until finally, it arrives at the peak.
I don’t know where this journey shall take me, but I do think Hamish and I will come across an unexpected adventure. Maybe we’re already on it.