Saturday, January 22, 2011
This is my Indian flute, hand made by a craftsman in New Mexico. I've treasured it for many years. I like the fact that it's the only instrument I can play without sheet music in front of me. I was told that you play this just by letting your mind go, let your feelings be reflected naturally in the notes you make. I was totally skeptical, yet I can actually do it. A few days ago I decided to see if the tone of it would be better if I warmed it up, since the house is so cold. I wrapped it in a dish towel and put it on one of the floor registers in the kitchen. I forgot about it until this morning, when I saw the towel in the middle of the floor. The flute was nearby, the carved bird that had been attached to it was broken off, and looking closer I saw that the tail of the bird had been chewed.
As long as I have had dogs, one has to wonder why I didn't think about such an eventuality when I put such a valuable thing made of wood on the floor. If I thought anything, I suppose I thought the towel would protect it, though I really didn't think at all. Luckily the damage doesn't affect the playability of the flute, but its aesthetic quality has certainly been compromised. Whenever something like this happens, as when I have lost contact lenses and hearing aids as well as a multitude of less expensive objects to the exuberance of animals, it reminds me of the value, or lack of value, of the "things" that surround us. Dogs, who don't know or care about the difference between a hand-carved flute and a stick that fell off the nearest tree, show us how to keep our belongings in perspective.