Each day they played, the string quartet had first to strike the dinner set from the night before. Empty wine bottles, yesterday’s newspapers, the pink cloth napkins and the wilted wild flowers – all this they whisked off the stage the porch would become. A row of chairs placed at the threshold of the kitchen, became the auditorium. Five of us came and went from the chairs, sometimes staying still.
Somewhere in the middle of the Beethoven, in the middle of fixing fruit salad, I began to come alive, lose my robotic ways. Was it the marijuana, or my chair’s proximity to the cellist’s? The music’s vibration went through me like a dart through a corkboard. I looked around; Andee’s face shone. Like old ice skaters watching the figures of the pros, our muscles following the moves. We embodied silence: the silence of the onlooker, reliving her active days; the silence of the worshipper, baring his suffering: the silence of the artist imagining a world.
The music makers assumed divine aspects – how marvelous to know them in their human form. Silently I intoned their names - Gayle, the tall blond violist, Paula, the iron grey cellist, Avra, the black haired first violin, and Deb, the brown haired second. Avra dubbed our lady of the leeks when, admiring their potential for soup, she raised the bunch like a torch and stood for her photo.After breakfast and lunch and an hour of solid Hayden, they began to pack up instruments. They left as instruments leave a melody; one by one, with time between to notice their absence. First gone were Gayle and Avra, leaving to catch the 4 o’clock bus to New York. Then Paula and Deb in separate cars – And in the silence that remained I was happily alone, hearing the music still sounding in the crickets noise, and the wind in the trees.