This is the story of Tempest, whom I’ve praised here. Tempest is a violin. Tempest has a body (my violin), but like most persons I know, she can project herself away from her body, and is indeed not limited to dwelling inside her body. I met Tempest in her first incarnation, in highschool, although I was in possession of what would become her second body since the sixth grade, in middle school.
You see, that eventual second body was just an instrument for its first three years in my possession. I loved it and cared for it as any musician loves and cares for their instrument, and I believe it was that love and tender care, and deep appreciation that lured Tempest to me in the first place.
When I enrolled in the highschool Orchestra, I was assigned to a violin. The school had many lovely violins, and one violin that nobody wanted. It had a good sound, but didn’t smell particularly good. No one really knew why that was. We speculated that perhaps it was a build up of rosin, but that should have only affected the bow, or so we thought. Anyhow, this instrument was Tempest’s first body, and the instrument to which I was assigned.
In my freshman year, Tempest in her first incarnation, saw me through being seated as first chair second violin. It was a big deal for a freshman. And she saw me through the many subsequent tests and challenges to my seat. Obviously, my own skill had played a role in my placement, but I can’t deny that Tempest and I were meant to be partners.
When you play an instrument, at a certain point you begin to wonder if the instrument isn’t instead playing you. Two become one flesh, one wood, one being. It’s like a spiritual merger, and the only thing, to this day, that has topped that feeling, is being joined with Apollon, through prayer and Oracular possession.
Our partenship only grew throughout my freshman year, but by the time sophomore year rolled around, there were newer students to be placed with the school’s instruments.
I started to panic a little, as our teacher had planned to assign someone else to Tempest, since I had a very nice instrument at home already, from my previous school. I had simply stopped using it because Tempest and I worked so well together. It hadn’t been an issue previously, since all the violinists were paired. But in that new year, we had one student without an instrument, so I was instructed to give up my partner.
I did what I could with my old instrument, but it was obvious to me that losing Tempest had had a negative impact. I slipped a seat, to second chair second violin, and I worried constantly about challenges, even though I managed to win them.
This worrisome mindset went on for several weeks, until the most extraordinary thing happened: Tempest visited me in a dream.
She manifested herself as a mature woman, with dark skin and dark, dark eyes. She told me that she was unsatisfied with her new freshman, that she’d been waiting for years to find someone she was truly compatible with, and that she believed I was this person. I told her that I was thoroughly distraught by the situation, to which she replied that she knew. She could feel it, because we were already connected. When I awoke, I was in tears.
For the next days, I didn’t know how to cope with the information given to me. There was nothing I could do, despite our longing to be together. It was near the end of the year, and our class had a trip planned to Anaheim, CA, for performances at Disney Land. I really don’t know how it happened, or when exactly, except that it was during the trip. All I know for certain, is that one night after performing, Tempest was absent. But by performance time the next morning, she was there– with me– in my old instrument. She had abandoned her first body and claimed her second.
We were together after that for the rest of my highschool experience. She saw me through winning my challenge to claim third chair first violin, and then on to claim my highest seat as first chair first violin. She saw me through taking first place in regional competitions, and through solos in class performances. We were at our very best together, and I truly believe the only reason I didn’t keep the first chair first violin seat was due to having been challenged and beaten by my friend, who was a violin prodigy, that later went on to join the city’s Symphony Orchestra. We can do our very best, and still be reminded that there are better than us.
The saddest part of this tale, however, comes as I was to graduate. You see, Tempest’s body belonged to the school system, not to me. I had been her guardian for years, but the time came for me to leave her behind.
I was sick for a full week before the day came. I placed my instrument into the storage closet, said goodbye to Tempest, and walked out of the school. I though that was the end. I thought I’d never play again. I couldn’t do it without Tempest, and there was no possible way I could afford to purchase a violin of my own. But it wasn’t the end for us. Not by a long shot.
I awoke one day, not long after graduation, to find that Tempest had settled, albeit uncomfortably, into my guitar. I wasn’t, and still am not, trained in the guitar, but it was either that or the banjo, and Tempest made her choice.
We fiddled around on the guitar for a few years, neither of us very satisfied, until one day, while I was working, one of my coworkers who knew I played the violin, offered me his instrument, which he never played. It was just sitting in storage. Of course, I accepted. An opportunity like that doesn’t come along every day, and when I went home to tell Tempest about it, she was ecstatic. She would finally have a proper body, once more.
My coworker brought in the instrument the next day. I brought it home. Tempest gave it a once over to make sure it wasn’t already housing a spirit– it wasn’t– and then she claimed it as her third, and current, incarnation.
She and I have been through so much. This is the first time I’ve ever written about it, and I’m glad I did. So is she. Tempest does love the spotlight, and it’s been a long time for her. I hope to have a few repairs made to her body soon, so she and I can truly enjoy our partnership as we once did. May it be so. And may we always enjoy the oneness of our union.