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Father Son & Violins (7)

湘悟 (窟燕晩豚:2009-04-10 08:06:25 堋響繁肝:1306 指鹸方:0)

  CHAPTER SEVEN: Teacher Li Taught Me to Learn To Be a Man as I Learn to Play the Violin

  
By then I had a self-made violin a nice used bow and the hand-copy Hohmann, what else did I need apart from time and practice?

  
In fact I did have enough time and much practice as at that time the school was not so busy, and to me practice itself gave me the greatest pleasure and happiness. Every early morning I practiced my violin at the side of a garden pond nearby to avoid wake my neighbors up. In the summer every afternoon when my brothers went swimming with other kids that was my chance to monopolize our home to practice. Under the temperature around 40 degrees in a not-well-isolated bungalow house, I was always showered by my own sweat. Though the temperature became much friendly in the evening I had to go out to practice, then the mosquito cluster turned to be my major enemy, particularly when I played the A string, the mosquitoes would attack me like the Japanese suicide air force during the World War II. Later I found a favorite practice spot near a railway for where was less mosquito polluted.

  
In those days, although I ate together with my brothers at the same table and slept in the same room, my spirit however lived in a totally different world. I had almost no friends but many unfriendly neighbors. We quarreled from time to time for the only reason and the reason only ^the strident noise out from that wooden box endlessly from morning to night. ̄ Because of that few neighbor kids talk to me, accept one girl, the next-door neighbor Hu MeiMei.

  
At that time my greatest grievance was that everybody did not recognize my genius. Now I think back I feel really Sorry and shameful, as I have caused so much headache to my neighbors by that dreadful violin sound.

  
^Forgive me I poor neighbors. Now I apologize to you in front of the whole world. ̄

  
At that time, I took lessons with teacher Li once a week in the beginning. Later I went to see him more and more often. After the lessons we always played some duets from the method Hohmann. Gradually violin lesson became art enjoyment for both of us. Like this, within one year, my violin playing had a ^great leap forward ̄. That gave me the confidence to compete myself with Ma or even Wang. The pity was Ma was not interested in competing with me as she was a girl, and more importantly she was supposed to be my girl friend, temporarily, therefore my rival left only one, Wang Shiyi.

  
Talking about Wang, for the purpose of chasing Lu Ying, he even transferred to our school. That resulted naturally to add one more violin to our Mao Team. That is to say the Mao Team then had three violins, Ma, Wang and me.

  
As I mentioned previously in the ballet ^the White Haired Woman ̄ there was a violin solo paragraph that used to be played by Ma. But one day just before the performance Ma¨s face looked longer than usual. After questioning I found it was Wang requested to substitute her to play that solo paragraph. That fact made my feeling very mixed up.

  
^What a guy, not only take Lu Ying away from me, but also want to take the solo from Ma, or should I say my `Xiao Mao¨. ̄ I thought that, decided to contend him with the solo paragraph.

  
The performance started. When the dance got close to the violin solo paragraph, I saw Wang stopped playing, constantly wiped his sweaty hand on his trousers to get himself ready to play the solo paragraph. But while the time came, I could not help myself rushing to play the solo paragraph a half bit earlier than the rhythm. That caused trouble on the stage. The coming-too-soon violin solo confused Lu¨s steps that made her inclined body almost fell down. Fortunately the people sitting in front of the stage were all The Liberation Army solders; most likely they had a discipline not to laugh at any and all cases.

  
After the performance was over, Lu was circled by teammates at a corner backstage receiving handkerchiefs one after another passed to her. I felt extremely upset; the only way to ease myself was by thinking of something else, such as ^how can a women¨s eye store so much water.

  
Wang looked at me in a great disappointment, rebuked me in an undertone, ^You are no good friend, so selfish and full of arbitrariness´ ̄

  
I gave tit for tat, ^What? You say me selfish! That solo paragraph used to be Xioa Mao¨s; I mean teammate Ma¨s. Why you want to take it over? ̄

  
^Why are you so vigorously about the violin solo thing? Whoever play will not be your turn. ̄ Unexpectedly Chan Flute interposed a remark full of vinegar flavor, obviously for I called Ma as Xiao Mao.

  
Wang Shiyi nodded his head echoed, ^So so so. ̄

  
I ignored Chan Flute but challenged Wang Shiyi directly, ^Let¨s compete, to play the solo paragraph or to play Hohmann, You name it. The winner will be playing the solo paragraph from now on. ̄

  
Ma Xiao Mao heard that quickly pulled me aside, whispered to me, ^To play what Hohmann, he finished that a long time ago, now he practices Kayser. ̄ (Kayser is a violin teaching method a step higher than Hohmann) Seeing me wordless Ma Xiaomao comforted me, ^Why compete with him? I¨m positive that you will be the No 1 violin player among the Changsha amateur violin players. ̄

  
Ma¨s action irritated Chan Flute, he rushes forward up and pushed Ma away from me, ^Look at you two pull and drag. There should be a distinction between boys and girls. ̄

  
How could that be tolerated? My acted like a little rascal pushed Chan Flute against a wall.

  
Wang Shiyi was shocked, he kept his mouth half opened rumbled repeatedly, ^How can it be like this? ̄

  
Ma Xioamao was aside could not help laughing.

  
Lu Ying however walked towards us, ^Stop it, both of you. It was my fault. I did not follow the music closely enough. I¨ll be more careful from now on. ̄

  
At that moment teacher Lao and the workers representative Chuan came to inform us the noodles were ready. See us got entangled together, inevitably to be questioned and judged. When they found our the key problem was the violin solo, Lao expressed his opinion, ^From now on you three take turns to play the solo. Is it worth to quarrel on such a bagatelle? ̄

  
Representative Chuan on the other hand had a totally different idea about the issue. He suggested, ^Why solo has to be played by one person? Bad individualism! From now on you three comrades play the solo together. More people bigger strength. Good, this matter is settled. Go go go, let¨s go to eat. ̄

  
^A solo a solo, how can three play a solo together? Art has it¨s own rule and form. ̄ Teacher Lao opposing representative Chuan publicly, that was the first time for us to see.

  
^What rule? Art obeys publicizing Mao¨s thoughts, you obey me, and we working class lead everything, that is a rule above all. ̄ After Chuan showed his absolute authority as a working class, he again urged us, ^Let¨s go eat quickly everybody, as Mao said `the good health is the capital of revolution¨. ̄

  
During the whole night meal, teacher Lao was constantly explaining that the solo must not be played by three. He even told Chuan that the solo paragraph in the ballet ^White Haired Woman ̄ was an imitation of Tchaikovsky¨s magnum opus the ballet ^Swan Lake ̄. It was a classical literature that could not be and should not be changed.

  
Representative Chuan nodded his head showing he was listening while he was busy working on his noodle. After he finished the noodle he drank all the soup left in the bowl, then he put the chopsticks on the empty bowl looking at teacher Lao sighed with regret profoundly, ^The noodle today is a little lack of oil. ̄

  
The very next day I want to see teacher Lao at his home. First I showed my regret of taking over the solo paragraph, soon after that I asked, ^About the `Swan Lake¨ you mentioned yesterday, could you also let me criticize it? ̄

  
^That¨s what you come here for, isn¨t it? ̄ Lao smiled, and continued, ^I don¨t think I have the `Swan Lake¨ tape here, but you can find that solo paragraph in the movie `Lenin in 1918¨. ̄

  
Seeing me looked greatly disappointed Lao added, ^I happened to have a few classic music records, in them there are a few fascinating violin solo paragraphs. But the problem is the school phonograph is at the moment in the hands of the worker¨s propaganda team at the broadcasting room.

  
^My violin teacher Li has a gramophone. Please lend the records to me at once ̄ I begged anxiously.

  
^That¨s too risky. How can a teacher lend the `Four Olds¨ to a student? That¨s simply too risky! ̄ Lao looked truly worried.

  
After entangled him over and over again, and more importantly made him believe the complete safety of teacher Li¨s place, and also my promise of the secret being kept absolutely, Lao responded, ^As I said those things can not be lent. However, it would be a different story if you pick them up from trash. ̄

  
Lao carefully wrapped the records with a few used newspapers, and then wrote ^cultural trash ̄ on it. Together the records were placed with all other music tapes. Staring at that pile of ^cultural trash ̄ Lao groaned, ^What a pity. ̄

  
When I was so pleased to pick up the records and about to walk away, Lao warned me again, ^Just in case someone sees it, say you pick them up from MY trash, don't bring trouble to others, understand? ̄

  
I opened the package as soon as I got out of Lao¨s home. The records were not something else, but my most favorite ^Spanish fantasy ̄. I hared myself straight to teacher Li¨s home right away with the records and excitement.

  
When I got to Li¨s home, he was in bed. He slowly got up and said, ^Just a little headache, not bad enough to remain in bed. ̄

  
We immediately enjoined the music ^Spanish fantasy ̄. Li woke me up from that inebriate music dreamland, and gave me some introduction about the composer Rimsky-Korsakov who used to serve in a navy. He was an amateur musician without studying the composition systematically. Because of his outstanding gift, he was invited to be the director of the Petersburg Music Conservatory. Being a director, he however went to study harmony and other music theory together with some first grade students. ̄

  
I was amazed by Li¨s story as I always did. Also as always I thought Li was randomly telling a story, a story only. But this time Li went on with his ^story ̄. He said to me in a very sincere tone, ^Therefore we should always be modest and prudent, always think of learning from others, even when we become a real master of violin playing. ̄

  
I started to realize that Wang Shiyi had talked about the solo case to Li. To avoid more criticism I admitted, ^Alright, alright, I was wrong. I promise that will not happen again. ̄

  
Li smiled gently went on his sermon, ^The music is a gift given by the lord. It meant to purify our soul and enrich our spirit, therefore should never be used as a means of show off. ̄

  
^I have already said I wouldn¨t do that again. What else do you want from me? ̄ I was a little inflamed.

  
^Look at you, the way you talk is just like the way you play the violin, too much emotion but lack of reason, whenever got excited the rhythm getting quicker and the intonation inclining higher. ̄ Li paused. He washed a cup again and again, indicating he was afraid to pass his cold over to me. Then he passed a cup of tea to me.

  
Seeing I cooled down he added, ^As a young man like you with character and talent, I¨m sure you will be a violin soloist, a good one in the future. You do have some technique problems through, but that can be solved gradually by age. What I¨m saying is, you can learn to be a good violinist, at the time learn to be a good human being. ̄

  
^You mean I¨m not a good human being? I do not steal do not rob, I love the Party and Chairman Mao. ̄ This time I was more exasperated than inflamed.

  
Teacher Li shook his head a little and stood up, ^Come, let me show you something. ̄

  
We got out from his room, passed through a small path, and then from the back entrance we entered the church.

  
It was rather dark inside the church. The sunlight cut through the colorful glasses brilliantly covered upon the portrait of Jesus. That was the first time for me to be in a church, an experience I had no precedent. I felt like my soul got away from my body and to be placed in front of the God.

  
Li looked at Jesus, said to me devoutly, ^We should not only love the Party and Chairman Mao, but also love the people, not only the people around you, but also the people all over the world. ̄

  
^Love people all over the world? ̄ I questioned, ^Include our enemies? ̄

  
^That¨s right. Include our enemies. ̄ Li looked at my puzzled face he explained softly, ^May be it is not appropriate to talk about the love of Christ nowadays, but at least you should be able to be generous enough to love those who quarreled with you, for example to love Wang Shiyi, not only because he is your friend your schoolmate and the one who has helped you before, but also as a human being. You should learn to be grateful. We all should learn to understand the meaning of thanksgiving. For we all were born with sin. You know why the Christ was put on the cross? ´ ̄

  
Just like that, apart from the violin lesson Li was also often evangelizing, preaching the gospel, talking bout the God and Jesus, love and kindness, forgiveness and thanksgiving, the way he did as if the astounding Cultural Revolution outside did not at all exist.

  
Being educated by Li, quite a few times I wanted to say ^hello ̄ to Wang Shiyi, but after all could not put down my face. I guess Wang felt the same. During the Mao Team¨s performance, every time when it got close to the solo paragraph, Wang Shiyi put the violin down as well as Ma Xiaomao did, That left me no choice but playing the solo section. On the surface I was the winner of the solo conflict, however since then, Lu Ying stopped asking me to look after her schoolbag, the successor was not any one else but Wang Shiyi.

  
One day I caught a chance to show my warm temperature to Lu Ying, but in return I received a few cold words, ^I¨d rather you brow your bamboo flute ̄ was exactly what she said to me.

  
I finally made up my mind to reconcile with Wang Shiyi. I waited outside of the rehearsal hall, when I saw he came out I intentionally pumped straight into him and collided my head with his chest. Immediately I apologized. He however repeatedly said, ^Never mind. ̄

  
^Painful? ̄ I ask.

  
^Very painful. ̄ Wang covered his chest with a hand, quickly explained, ^painful not caused by you, but from a heart broken? ̄ Wang Shiyi suddenly looked awful.

  
^Hey, don¨t you scare me! ̄ I was truly a little scared.

  
At the right moment Lu Ying walked out from the rehearsal hall, Wang fell toward me and whispered, ^Say I¨m dying. ̄

  
I embraced Wang and loudly shouted to Lu Ying, ^I¨m Dying. No, I mean he is dying. Please help m--him. ̄

  
Can you imagine? The most sympathetic and kind-hearted Lu Ying laughed at us, and said coldly to me, ^Ask him if he wish to be buried or burnt? ̄

  
^You, how can you so heartless, he is not head yet. ̄ I yelled at Lu.

  
Waite until Lu disappeared; Wang stretched his arms twice and soliloquized, ^Again a fruitless effort. ̄ Then he shook hand with me very friendly to express our reconciliation, and walked away with whistling a ditty.

  
^Hey, are you still mad at me? ̄ I confirmed.

  
^How could I? On the contrary much to thank you for. ̄ Wang said cordially.

  
I believe what he said was true. Because if it were not me took over him violin solo, how could he get the chance to look after Lu Ying¨s schoolbag!

  




 彰萩藻冱賓隆廣過議喘薩萩枠指遍匈廣過
喘薩兆(駅倬)
畜 鷹(駅倬)
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