Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Every family has a soundtrack to their life.

There are different songs for different seasons, different volumes for different times, but the soundtrack plays on.

It's the dull rumble of the dryer, the clickety clack of computer keys, the clanging of pots on the stove or the mixer's beaters whirring and spinning. It's the sound of silence at night when the lights are out, the giggles and shrieks during a tickle fight, the spitting of toothpaste into the sink or the endless drone of an alarm clock's beep.

For this season, our family's soundtrack has had a layer added that we hear every day. The sound used to appear and disappear, but since coming here it's a fixture. It resonates above our chatter and echoes over the marble floors. It's the sound of Mike playing his violin.

Mike has played violin since he was two and a half years old. That's a long time. When he was 18 he put it away. When we met and fell in love he took it out of hiding and played again. In fact, he even proposed using his violin - playing a piece he'd been working on as a "gift" to me while my engagement ring hung on a velvet ribbon in the F hole of his instrument.

Over the years Mike has played for pleasure and performance. He's played classical pieces to keep up his skill, entertained friends and invited his girls to dance with his jigs and reels, become a rock star with his brother Mark's band, and ushered people closer to the face of God in worship. Mike loves that instrument. You can see it when he's playing - something comes alive and then breathes life into stagnant places.

Of course, Mike brought his violin along to the Coast. He thought he'd squeeze in some time to play amidst all of the other adventures he had planned.

But somewhere along the way, Mike's violin became part of his adventure, rather than an afterthought. Along with Music, Mike is passionate about running. Oh, he was going to run in the beauty of the West. Or so he thought. His Achilles Tendinitis thought differently. And so the violin took the place of the runners slapping along the wet pavement.

In the last month, he's found himself invited to audition for a semi-professional orchestra. Tonight is his second rehearsal. If Mike does something, he does it well or not at all. This is part of what makes him the solid rock to my wayward self. And so, if Mike is going to play - he's going to play well. He's been practicing up a storm - perfecting the runs and high notes. There is a sparkle in his eye as he prepares to become part of something bigger than himself. His own community. One in which music is once again the language. It's where he can be who he is and let the music speak where his words don't.

And this is a beautiful thing to watch unfold. Passion rediscovered. The lilting sound of the bow singing against the strings. I think I'll turn the soundtrack up a little. I like this song.


  1. oh karla - you've brought tears to my ears once again. i so love mike's melody. and i miss you both in our lives. physically. i can just see his eyes all lit up like a child. i love what you said about how he can be WHO HE IS and let music speak where his words won't. there is absolutely nothing as strong as a man who just IS, instead of trying to be.

  2. now you need to post a recording of the sound for us all to enjoy!

  3. If only I could hear his violin music I would be forced to decide which is more beautiful, his music or your prose.

  4. Tania and I decided today you need to turn your blog into a book! You are writer extroadinare! I look forward to your posts; each day hoping to read something new! Love Mike for being your ROCK!