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湘悟 (窟燕晩豚:2010-07-22 15:44:05 堋響繁肝:1503 指鹸方:0)

  Chaper 21

A Turning Point of My Life Course

Arrived at Oslo Airport, I was with no luggage no money and no idea what to do or where to go. At the rest room I ran into a slim nice gentleman. And later I followed him to a coffee. I pretend happen to pass there. After passed twice he did not notice me I had to say hello to him. Then I made a story that I was here with my girlfriend to see some friends off. But after our friends were gone we had a little a quarrel, my girlfriend simply took the car and went away, and left me here at the airport alone.

The gentleman laughed and said that was exactly his story, except his girlfriend did not take the car. So after he looked around for a while he could not find his girlfriend, naturally he invited me on his car.

^Where will you go? ̄ He asked.

Where would I go? That was really a good question. I hesitated a while, then asked him to go to the Oslo center first. When I arrived at the center, got off of that nice man¨s car, I realized though had lived in Oslo for several years, I had really no place to go, except the violin shop Mr. Crow¨s place.

Crow¨s violin shop was a two-storey wooden house. The shop was at the first floor and the second floor a living area. Loft was used as store room for violin making materials, and laundry in the basement.

Heard that Marianne and I got lost during the trip, and I lost my key to our home (he did not know we had no home anymore), Mr¨ Crow couldn¨t help laughing. One thing without doubt, I had to stay in his house for a few days, until Marianne came back to Oslo, if she came back.

Mr. Crow saw my broken white violin, again couldn¨t help laughing. But his facial expression changed when I told him that it was made by my hand when I was a little boy. Carefully he covered my violin, jokingly he expressed his hope ^if you stay here, you will have to be my apprentice, to learn how to make violins. ̄

1, Enter the Gate of Violin Making

Staying there and eating there, naturally I had to work for Mr. Crow. On the other hand, I knew according to my father's condition and family situation, the money I had given to them, would for sure not the last. From then on I probably had to send money home from time to time, regularly.

Mr. Crow was naturally took it as an excellent opportunity to train a successor to keep the shop going on. He not only taught me how to repair violins, but also deliberately let me receive customers.

But I had a problem, a huge problem; a problem has not been solved completely even today. The problem was, no matter the customer was young or old; I would never miss the chance to show off my violin playing ability. Master Crow, of course did not know, I did that, also for another reason. That reason was after I lost my Italian violin in the fire, I really felt like had lost my soul and no peace in my mind all the time. So under that ^show off ̄ business I was taking every opportunity to try more violins, hoping to find a violin that I could use, temporarily. Until one day, the most known Norwegian violinist visiting us, I still did not give up the opportunity to show off my violin playing. Master Crow reached his limit. After the guest was gone, he very seriously said to me ^if you want get into the violin business, the very first quality you need is to forget that you are a violinist. You have to change your position from the front stage playing roll to the back stage supporting roll. Therefore, you have to become hospitable and humble in front of customers, regardless customers¨ age, gander, and playing ability lever.

^Being hospitable and humble ̄ that was a quality I lack in my bones, how could I show? However, in order not to freeze to death in the temperature 20 degrees below 0, I must pretend to be hospitable and humble, at least temporarily, until Marianne came back.

Marianne came back to Oslo at last. But without job and house, what Marianne could do? Of course we all know Norway is a social welfare country and we could always go to the government's ^social office ̄ getting help with place to live and food to eat. But our pride did not allow us to do so. We both had high education, had a higher self-esteem, how could we put ourselves together with those socially weaker people? After discussion, we agreed that I went on staying at Master Crow's place, and Marianne was staying with her sister for the time being.

One more important reason I wanted to stay at Master Crow¨s place was, I could not find any violin to replace my violin after had tried so many violins at Master Crow's shop, so I had growing an idea, to make a violin by myself for my own, as I could make a violin when I was a kid, why not then.

Therefore I formally accepted Master Crow¨s offer to be his apprentice. I told Mr. Crow that in order to learn better, I¨d rather continuing stay in the small room at his house instead going back to my comfortable home.

Master Crow was of course very pleased to hear that, though he guessed I must had a quarrel with my wife. But the attitude towards me suddenly hardened, said that if I really wanted to learn, I had to listen all to him. For the sake of making a violin for myself, as well as that small bed and every food, I promised positively.

Early next morning, Master Crow woke me up; he took me to the loft selecting wood from piles of materials. He was very carefully and seriously, that made me a little impatient, said ^they all look to same to me. ̄ But, Master Crow told me, every piece of wood was different from each other, just like human. First we must find the best top and back materials, and then we need to make a good match of them, for just like our human, to put a good man and a good woman together dose not guarantee a good couple. Therefore to choose good material and make good match is the first step, the very basic and vitally important for making a good violin. For this reason it is never too much time spending on it. ̄ He turned his back to me, got himself in the piles of wood, knocked each piece of the wood, made some marks on each piece of wood, and did that repeatedly over and over again.

I thought what he said was reasonable and convincing, so had to pretend being patient on my face. When I started to do the looking and knocking on the wood, Hey, I started to notice some differences in sound pitch, tone color, vibration of each piece of wood. In this way, I unconsciously got myself into the ^selecting wood ̄ business, seriously, curiously, and energetically. Look at me being fascinated by what I was doing, Master Crow seemed to be impressed, and said ^that is more likely going to make good violins. ̄

I took five sets of materials that Master Crow chosen for me to violin making workshop. My violin making career started from there.

When I tried to make the first violin, I sawed the wood in a violin shape too harsh, so that too much wood had been taken. That meant that top, could be a beautiful violin a few minutes ago then just a pile of firewood. On my second try I was very careful, but again made a mistake on the f holes cutting, the top wood simply cracked. That was a waste of one top wood and a two-week effort. The failure of two told me I must not be anxious, I must be very careful and patient with every single sawing and cutting. On my third try, I worked as carefully as I could. Three weeks past a nice looking white violin was born. I was extremely excited when I looked at the white violin hanging on the wall, and the memory of I made my first violin when I was a little kid under instruction of Master Zhou, I could feel the pain of my injured hand years ago.

The same problem with my quick-tempered natural, when I putting on the varnish I did not wait for the first layer to dray I put on the second layer, that resulted the varnish wrinkling, so that I had to wash all the two layers of varnish away by alcohol and to re-start it over. At last when the varnish was done, again being impatient I did not wait enough for the varnish to dray thoroughly I rushed to put on parts for sound test. That left a few finger prints on the violin, permanently. The series of failure all told me a simple fact, that was everything had to be dose step by step, carefully with skill and following its natural course, a single carelessness of a knife or a brush, could spoil the whole thing.

Yet my pride did not allow me to fail what I was trying to achieve. I worked much harder and much more carefully. In the end, I reached my goal with the fifth violin successfully. I confirmed that the varnish dried thoroughly, nervously I put on strings. When my bow touched the strings made the first cry, I was extremely excited, the feeling very much like first time being a father.

About a week later a chance came to me. In Norway we had a very young and talented violinist called Yoachin, his violin broke just before his big concert with the Oslo Philharmonic. When he took his violin visiting our shop he saw my new violin on the table. He played it, and liked it, and borrowed it for a few days, then longer than a few days, then played my violin at the concert instead of his own. And then he came with his Mama to our shop asking ^how much? ̄

Before I even had my chance to say ^it¨s negotiable ̄ Master Crow answered ^36 000 kronor plus consumption tax. ̄ That number was much beyond my expectation. 36,000 kroner equals six thousand US dollars! Was my violin really worth that much money? But Master Crow was serious. When the payment was due, Master Crow took 10%materials fees, and 30% for tools, parts, working space and a small profit, the rest 60% was mine. Like that I tasted the sweetness of violin making and concretely touched the charm of money.

Sometime later, Yoachin played Paganini Concerto with the Norwegian National Symphony Orchestra in Oslo. He was live on the state television, followed that my name as a ^violin-making master ̄ was also on the Oslo newspaper, and looked like I was on the track of going to be ^rich and famous ̄. With the time went by, I was more and more recognized and talked as a violin maker, and on the other hands, I, Daniel Chen, as a violinist, was gradually forgotten. For me, it was a hard process to transfer my self-identity from player to maker. But one thing was really true, during the process I found violin making more and more interesting, and more and more aspects and things to learn or study. In addition, violin-making helped me a lot with my academic studies of ^violin acoustics ̄.

By the way, I never forgot my promise of getting Ma Xiao-Mao out of China. As the matter of fact, as soon as I got my life on my feet, I put some ads on Oslo local newspaper looking for spouse. Less than a week I received a dozen letters. Removed all the too-old and too-young, too-handsome and too-ugly, too-capable and disabled, left two gentlemen, one fat and the other skinny. I sent the photos of the two candidates to Ma. It was up to her to take meat or bone.

2, Master Crow's Story

Although my wife Marianne and I met often, but we did not live together. That also meant there was no husband and wife stuff happening during that period. One night, as often happened during that period I had what the Chinese call ^spring dream ̄ (to have sex with someone in a dream), I had a dream with Marianne. It was just at a very good moment suddenly I was wakened by shouting. It was Master Crow¨s voice from next room. Did not know what happened I quickly ran out, pushed his door to open. I turned on the light found master Crow half sitting up in his bed, breathing heavily he apologized ^I'm sorry to wake you up, it just had a bad dream. ̄

^It¨s right. ̄ I said that, certainly did not think that way, as I told I was in the middle of my very good moment!

Once woke up, could not get back to sleep so easily, I simply went to the kitchen, got myself a cup of hot milk and cocoa. Again in the middle of my enjoyment, master Crow came, also sat by the dining table, having a cup of heave black coffee. Nothing to do, he started to talk about what happened in his nightmare. In the nightmare, his adopted son and daughter in Hong Kong were in danger; he was trying to rescue them, desperately. But no matter how hard he hit the accelerator pedal of his Mercedes Benz the car simply did not move. Then he had to get off the car and run, but his legs couldn¨t move...That¨s about the story.

Master Crow finished his story, spontaneously he asked me about my family. Not only my family story would be too complicated to tell and to understand, but also I did not feel like to talk about my private affairs, for it really hurts. Therefore I told him a made-up story, saying that I was adopted when I was very little from China to Australia.

After having heard my story and thought I was an orphan, Master Crow probably felt it was God who had brought us together. He looked to be deeply moved, and started to tell me about his family history.

Mr. Crow is a German. He was born in a violin making family in East Germany. When he was about 10 years old the World War II started. One day, when he came home with his dog, he found his home was razed to the ground from an air raid. He lost everybody of his family except Mary, the dog. Then the little boy Crow together with his dog following a neighbor brother Hans escaped to Norway. A few years later after they had settled down in Norway, Hans returned to his homeland. Soon Hans sent Mr. Crow a letter. In the letter Hans said he went to see Mr. Crow¨s old house site. The new house owner told Hans that they found a lot of violins, bows and violin making tools as well as materials in the cellar. The new house owner thought someday the old house owner might come back for those things; therefore he kept everything as carefully as possible for all those years. Heard that news, young Crow for the first time, and the last time too returned back home to collect all the violin property that his family inherited from their ancestors for generations. Back to Norway Mr. Crow follow the family¨s food steps, opened a violin workshop in Oslo.

Here I need to insert a side story, story of Mr. Crow¨s only family member Mary, the dog. .Since the air raid Mary was the only family member survived. They had been together since and never parted. But just before Mr. Crow was about to go back to his homeland Germany, Mary went out by itself for sometime every day, and when the dog same back, its feet were always dirty with mud. Mr. Crow thought Mary was out looking for a boyfriend; therefore he was happy and did not pay much attention. But one day by curiosity Mr. Crow followed the dog to a hillside area. Crow discovered that Mary was digging a small cave with its¨ paw. Mr. Crow thought that must some kind of dog game, therefore did not care much. When the day he went back to his motherland (or should I say fatherland) Mary for the first time in her life refused to follow her Master even dragged by force. Mr. Crow thought it was only a matter of three or four days he let the dog home for housekeeping. Crow left enough food and water for Mary. Of course Crow never expected that this apart from Mary was forever. When Crow returned back to Oslo from Germany, Mary was not at home. He looked for everywhere possible but could not find. Finally Crow went to that little hill, found the dying Mary in that self-made small cave. When Crow cried for Mary, she responded with a very weak and small snail move. Crow suddenly realized, Mary was over 15 years of age, was the time to go to heaven. But what made Crow feel sadder was when Mary knew she was going to die; she dug herself a small cave to end herself there quietly in order to prevent her master too sad to see her body. Crow took some soil with both hands, and mixed the soil with tears blocking the last little air hole of the cave, so Mary could have less pain before going to meet her God.

Alone back home, Mr. Crow immediately wrote a letter to his girl friend Margaret. In the letter he again and again begged Margaret for forgiveness, as less than 20 years of his life he had twice lost his loved ones. Therefore, in order not to lose any loved ones, the only way was not to make loved ones.

Just like that, Mr. Crow with all the violins, tools and materials inherited from his family and photos of Mary hanging on the walls, He lived all by himself for a few decades, until the time he met me he was just over 60, a time to think of retirement.

^Until this age, I began to regret from time to time. I sometimes think, to have a family, have people to love and to worry is the true happiness of life! ̄ It was because of that kind of loneliness and need to be needed, through the Norwegian Church he got into touch with a Church in Hong Kong, adopted two orphaned brother and sister there, financially supporting them.

After the life story, Mr. Crow finally suggested me to make peace with Marianne, and move back with her as soon as possible, to have some children, the sooner the better.

3, In the West, Family Above All

As Mater Crow said not once that ^although you are smart, get start very quickly, but if you really want to take the violin shop, your skill and ability is far away from enough. So I think you¨d better talk to your wife, go to learn some hard skills in other European countries before I am too old to look after the shop.

Although I was not too sure I wanted to take Crow¨s violin shop, with the thought that might help my violin playing and violin acoustic studies. In addition as Mr. Crow suggested I should move back with Marianne,(he did not know we had no place to stay) I decided to go to some other European countries to learn some skills and knowledge of violin making.

I first went to Hungary's Liszt Academy of Music, took part in the stringed instrument making section.

During my study period at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest Hungary, my instructor of violin making was Irog from the former Soviet Union, my instructor of bow making was Etzler from Germany. Although they were from completely different countries and culturals, they shared a same quality, which was both loved their family above anything else. Master Iraq was obviously moved from the former Soviet Union to Hungary to get rid of the poverty. As his wife and children were still back home. Iraq was making all his effort to get his family to Hungary. Therefore at work, instead violins I heard the most from him was his family.

Master Etzler too, was talking about his pregnant wife very often, sometimes when he received a phone call from his wife, he could put down all his work and ran back home. I remember once a customer was about to buy his bow after trying it for two hours, but Master Etzler was constantly checking his watch. As soon as it reached 7pm Master Etzler stopped the customer from trying more, and said he must go back to see his wife. That made that customer and I dreadfully puzzled. The next day I asked him why he did that, he answered ^Yesterday, I made an appointment with my wife at a restaurant at 7:30 pm. ̄ That answer made me even more puzzled. Then he explained ^I work for money to make my wife happy. If my wife is unhappy, money is useless and work is meaningless. ̄

In western cultural, family is regarded the smallest component of the society; therefore the stability of a society has to be based on the stability of the families. Because of this the social system, whether cultural, legal, religious, all regard family as the most sacred. For example if someone immigrate to Europe or America, his family would legally immigrate with him, after a certain period of time. Even for the overseas students, their spouses and children could automatically go where the father or mother is later.

In the West, even insurance companies offer insurance discount to those who have a stable family. In the United States or Western movies, are all filled with the family above all value. In the Western church, people address each other brothers and sisters, filled with family-like atmosphere and love.

In fact, family above all may not only common social value in western culture, but also among all human being, even among the most of the animals.

Yet that was not true in China from 1950¨s to 1980¨s, for in these period, Chairman Mao and the communist part were above anything and everything. Next to Mao and the party would be the so called ^people ̄ and ^work ̄. Family was at the lowest status in the Chinese society at that period of time.

According to my personal experiences, my first wife Dong Ya was from Shanghai and I was from Hunan. We met in Shanghai during my university time and married in Shanghai. But after I graduated from school I had to go back to where I originally came from. Therefore we were never actually lived together like husband and wife until our divorce. In China, separated couple is called the mandarin duck, and Dong Ya and I were among the millions.

Speaking of family being the basic unit and foundation of the social stability, I know many stories to tell why China was not stable by that time. It was in the 90s I went to Guangzhou; there I met a 17-year-old prostitute. I asked her why she did not want to go home. She told me that she simply had no home to go. She was the eldest daughter of the family with father and a remote mother seldom at home. After her father¨s death, the three kids never heard from their remote mother again. She first wanted to work as a prostitute to help her younger sister and brother. But after being caught by the police. for a week she went back home, she found her sister and brother were gone. Without family remembers the home was no longer a home. I thought by that time if more families like this, how could the sociality be stable?

Why my mind was so unstable, because I was away from my family!

After Hungary, I went to more countries and met more violin making masters, such as Cremona in Italy, Mittenwald in Germany, as well as Paris, Moscow, the two universities in the United States.

It was at the violin repair and restoration course at the Oberlin College I restored the white violin that I made when I was a kid and was smashed into pieces by my father during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. When my classmates asked me, ^how come this naked thing (they even didn¨t bother to call it a violin) be broken like this. How could it happen? ̄ I hesitated to tell, could only put pharynx to the button of my stomach. As the story of my that ragged violin, is beyond human imagination, and only people had gone through that period of history would understand. After one month hard work, I finally put all the piece back in shape, a shape of a violin again. When I made some sound out from my dear ^naked ̄ violin after so many years, I found that was the most beautiful and exciting violin sound in the world, though most of my classmates were making gesture to cover their eras and scoff at me. I was very happy. At the moment the happiest man in the world.

Though the violin making process I acquainted with many violin making colleagues. (Now I can call them my colleagues) By working together with them, I noticed very different quality from me as a player. Unlike the players, snobby, show off, pretentious; they are simple, humble, down to earth, and most of them value their family better than anything else. By working together with them, I also discovered the interest, charm and challenge of the violin as an instrument itself, and more and more get myself into the profound art of violin making.

4Part From Marianne

After I was re-educated by western value ^family above all ̄, I felt I should do something for my family that I formed with Marianne in Norway. After returning back to Oslo from studying trip in other parts of the world, I began to look for houses and talk to bank about loans, and wanted to give Marianne a surprise. Yet Marianne was quite angry when she found out what I was trying to do ^how many times do I have to tell you that when you do things you should consult with me´ ̄

^I want to give you a surprise. ̄ I explained.

^Surprise? Indeed, I am surprised, congratulations. But I¨d rather you tell me the date we go to Indiana University than being surprised by this. ̄ Marianne said.

^About Indiana University, I think I wouldn¨t go there for sometime, or not for forever, because I grew up quite much recently. Be realistically we are in the age of plan our lives, to settle down, have children. I mean, just like everybody else, to be a normal people having a normal life. ̄ I explained.

^Normal? If you are normal, why should I waste my life on you? I thought you were something special, because you have your dream´ ̄ Marianne reasoned.

^But my dream may be too far away from me, and I might never reach it in our lifetime. ̄ I took the speech over.

^A man with a dream that can¨t be achieved is far better than a man without dream at all. I have no talent, so I can only be a scholar to study and research achievements of others. But you have talent, and you should pursue and create your own art. If I were you, I would rather die in the middle way of pursuing my goal, than become an aimlessness mediocre. ̄ Marianne said that.

^What, did you say? I am, mediocre? ̄ I felt being greatly insulted.

^What else do you expect me to call you? If you don¨t play violin, you are not you anymore. Look at you, degenerated into a mercenary small business, I don¨t know such a person, or I really don¨t want to know such a person anymore. ̄ That¨s about the last words from Marianne to me I could remember, and would never forget.

I knew it was useless to argue with Marianne any further, because it wouldn¨t have any results. Only one thing I did not want to admit, that was I am not mediocre. Or as Marianne saying I become ^mediocre ̄, really meant my mind was changing to more pure and noble.

Marianne was really not that kind of woman who would be satisfied to have a peaceful, stable, ordinary life. She needed to continue looking for what the God asking her to do in her life. She needed to find more truth of life, of relationship between body and soul. About our relationship, Marianne described like this: ^We fated to meet each other, as it was originally arranged by God, for that I have nothing to regret. But after we met we don¨t go parallel, therefore I have no choice but go on towards different direction. It¨s like two lines from different direction met together, but part again each for its¨ own course. ̄

With my strong will, we bought a new apartment. Although we lived together under the same roof for a while we felt far apart from each other. Not to mention to have children, as we even did not bother to do things to make children. In reality, husband and wife remained only a formality. Therefore, from sometimes to very often, I still stay at Mater Crow¨s place.

The relationship crisis with Marianne made me think that without her I would be alone helpless in Norway. That made Master Crow closer and more important to me. In order to please my Master, I purposely wrote to my friend in Hong Kong, asking him to take care of the two adopted children of Crow¨s. My friend was not really happy to do so, but on my face he reluctantly went to see the two children. The result was ugly, as the brother and sister in the photo I gave to my HK friend were not orphans, but children of a social worker of a charity organization. What makes things even worse was the two kids even did not know the existence of their Norwegian Papa Mr. Crow who sent money to them very month for over more than 10 years.

I hesitated for sometime wonder if it was right to tell him the truth, as I was so afraid the truth would shock my Master, to death. But he didn¨t, in fact he had guessed, because the letters he received from the children were all too good to be true written by children themselves at their age. But Mr. Crow would rather believe everything was true than to do investigation. To put it in this way, he was doing it more for the need of himself rather than for others. Beside, after so many years, the photos of the children-growing-up had gradually become a part of his life, if not the only part of his life.

Again, a good intension had lead to a bad result. I meant to help him but resulted hurting him. Although Mr. Crow did not blame me in words, but the atmosphere and mood between us was never the same.

That was one of the reasons that forced me to rethink my life in the future. Mr. Crow¨s personal life again taught me that family was vitally important than anything else. Therefore I started to think, if by going to the Indiana University could save our marriage, I should do it, not for the sake of my life dream that I wanted to pursue my music education after the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, but this time, for the sake of keeping our family going, the only family I had in Norway. Though by going to the United States I most probably wouldn¨t be able to support my sick father back home, but isn¨t it true that I have my own life, I can really let him to control my life. Especially after his quotation ^I dislike Danjiu boy by nature. ̄ (Why father did not like me? By nature?) Why should I change my life for such a father? Is he really worth me to do it. In addition, I already did my best, for once, and for all.

Master Crow learnt that I changed my mind of taking over his shop but going to the U.S, he said nothing, with a gloomy face he silently gazed at the photos of Mary on the wall, for a long time, long time.

When I was busy preparing for the United States, Master Crow was also busy with something, he appeared taking things out from his bedroom to his car, and drove to somewhere, repeatedly. Since both of us were busy, we simply shut the shop down for a week. One night, I was wakened up by some noise. It sounded he was moving things out again. Next morning, at the breakfast table, he suddenly asked me how much money I had saved for the United States. I told him about 20000 USD. Master Crow smiled a little, mysteriously.

After breakfast, he told me that he was going somewhere for a while, and asked me not to worry about him. It sounded rather casual that I did not think too much. After that he went outside for his car, waved his hat towards his shop and me, and gone.

That was the last sight I saw Master Crow.

The same day, Master Crow¨s accountant came to see me. He passed me a letter from Crow. In the letter there were three contents.

1, He sold all his property to me, his house, violin shop, and everything inside, violins, bows, tools, materials, all things and everything, for the price of 20,000 US dollars, and required to be paid in cash, immediately.

2, To keep it as a secret between our three persons as long as he was alive.

3, He has chosen a good place to spend the rest of his life. He appreciates our respecting his choice, and promise him never try to look for him.

Master Crow¨s accountant said he had no idea why ole Crow would sell his millions of crone worth property for the reticules prices of 20 000 US dollars to me, he only knew by doing so would easy the procedure, could save all the trouble of non-relative inheritance legal issues and problems. What made him more difficult to understand was why Mr. Crow need 20 000 US dollars in cash immediately for, as in Norway, such a high welfare country, the elderly people have absolute guarantee for their living expense´

Be extremely honestly, the temptation of paying 20000 US Dollars cash to get a property worth millions, was tremendously high and strong to resist. After a few days hesitation I decided to leave this matter to my wife Marianne. I passed the money to her and said, ^for the sake of our family, it¨s all up to you to decide. ̄

Marianne did not take the money, instead she kissed me, (after a considerable long period of time she did that to me, I even couldn¨t remember when was the one before?) and said ^do as we planed. You go first, I will find someone to rent our apartment to pay for the loan, and come after you. ̄

So the thing was set. I told Master Crow¨s accountant our decision and handed the keys of Crow¨s house to him. Of course, to this poor poor accountant, those are oddest things happened to his entire life that he could never understand.

Just when I was about to order my air ticket to Indiana, a family letter from China reached me again.

This letter was written by my brother Danjin. In the letter, besides some family affairs, he mainly told me that our younger brother Danfeng got divorced. After the divorce, Danfeng decided to quit his job at the acrobatic and to working as a cook in a Chinese restaurant that he always wanted to be. (Later he became a very good chef in a nice restaurant, in London) That meant for quite some time Danfeng was not able to give father efficient financial support.

Suddenly the scene of father lying in a steel-wire-net bed in the corridor of a hospital came to my eyes. That tragic image was so strong and so impact that all the resentment of father was temporary blurred.

On the surface, it was such a simple family letter that changed my whole direction in life. However, from the inside, it was a very complex and difficult process. Think about it, the world leading violinist Kyung-Wha Chung¨s button heart advice did not change me from giving up pursuing violin playing career; Master Crow¨s life hope and property did not change me from giving up pursuing violin playing career; but finally, it was the image of father lying in a steel-wire-net bed in the corridor of a hospital changed me from giving up pursuing playing violin, and woke me up from the dream of becoming a world leading violinist, but live in a realistic world of making everyday money.

I went back to Master Crow¨s accountant; put the 20000 USD cash on the table asking for exchange of the keys. Of course I did it all by me alone without consult Marianne. I thought if she wanted her kiss back, I had to kiss her´

The next day, my shop, the Daniel Violins was open for business. All my American dream, my career as a violin soloist, become history.

4 years marriage between Marianne and me ended. She left me, for the reason not difficult to understand, especial it was not at the time when I was poor, but on the contrary when I started to be rich. But Marianne certainly did not think the same way the most people would think. To her, she left me for the reason that I became poorer and poorer in spirit. There were of course other crises in our marriage apart from that. There are more detailed descriptions in my other autobiography ^Sanctitude, Scholar and Prostitute ̄.

I was far away from where I am from alone in a foreign country, living a solitary life like an ascetic monk for as long as another 4 years.

5, From a Violin Player to a Violin Maker

I have a kind of character, or quality that is no matter what I do, I would take it very seriously and professionally. It also applies to my violin making, of course. Since I took over the violin shop, imperceptibly, I had made one by one, over a hundred violins. Under the encouragement from Master Crow's telephone call, I sent two violins and one viola for the 1993 International Violin Making Competition. Results were promising, that the two violins both went to the final, and the viola had gained a certificate of diploma.

Since then I started to be from time to time in the newspapers, on the radio or television. The strange thing was, all that did not make me feel fulfilled. It was probably due to two reasons. First of all, this ^good ̄ was my violin making rather than the violin playing that I struggled to achieve for many years. The second reason may be far more important than the first reason. That was the ^violin making ̄ made me walking out from the world of four strings, from the art of violin playing, the small micro-world of ivory tower, to see the immense vast world outside. For instance, the same word ^make ̄, let¨s take a look what others have been making, in the history people made Grand Canal Babylon, the Pyramid, the Great Wall...today people make cars running on the road, or vehicles flying in the sky, or even out the universe. All modern civilization made cities, in the cities we have various buildings, gardens, computers etc In short, just took a look around ourselves, is there anything that is not made by people, by other people except me. But what I have made? A violin, which is exactly a wooden box that could make musical sound. What is a violin to the whole society? To put it nicely I am a violin making artist, spoke more in reality, I am just no more than a small carpenter or a craftsman!

To make it simper, after my identity swift to a violin maker, I started to realize my real position and weight in the society. Moreover, because of the removal of the heavy burden as a ^violinist ̄, I gradually lose my desire of show off in front of others, and became simpler and humbler. .

With broader view seeing the world, I gradually became aware of that the whole vast music world that I had intoxicated within the last 20 years itself was just a very small part of the entire human society. The sacred and noble music was after all, an entertainment. The more I learn the more I realized apart from my 4 violin strings I knew really little about the outside world. Then since I was out of that fantasy art world, I needed to learn from scratch about how to live in the real world, I needed to learn many basic skills and knowledge in the real life. Gradually, I had a new vision of life: I should not like the past, ^take the violin as the purpose of my life ̄ but should take ^learning violin making as a means of learning other things. ̄ to go on seeking and finding some new life contents and lifestyle, to enjoy life in various flavors.

In short, the violin business brought me to another world. I had chances to meet many different people and things. As no woman around me, especially no longer need to practice violin for hours each day, I suddenly felt I had a lots of free time. To pass the time I read a lot of books, rented many videos, and to participate in social activities as much as I could. For example on Sunday morning I would surely go to church. By that a little by little, I became to believe in the existence of God. That rational change made my start to think about the true meaning of life. Gradually I became aware how ignorance and selfish I was. At the same time I more and more appreciated the importance of family, realized I was lack of the most important quality of human nature, which was ^love, forgiveness, tolerance, humility, virtue ̄ and so on. I stared to dislike myself, felt obliged to re-learn how to behave in the society. Through a series of self-criticizing and re-education, I had a kind of feeling that it was God sent my father to block my way of continuing to slide down towards the abyss of the narrow violin world.

One thing I must make clear was, when I say I do not play violin anymore, dose not mean that I actually do not touch the violin at all. I only gave up my life goal as a professional violin virtuoso. But in reality, when I had time, I always play for enjoinment.

There was one more side story worth mention before end the chapter. One day an elderly lady named Christiana Olsen came to my shop with an old violin. She passed the violin over to me that had been with her all her life, together with her touching life story. Lady Christiana¨s violin and her life story aroused the interest of my re-playing the violin. (Ms. Christiana Olsen¨s story, I wrote a book about. It is called ^The Violin Lady ̄ in Chinese language, which was published in Taiwan. Later, I spent three months at the film school of USC (Hollywood) wrote a movie script in English, titled ^the Christiana¨s Violin ̄) Of course, this time the so-called re-playing the violin, was not as utilitarian as a profession, but as a hobby, so not had much psychological stress and burden, but felt rather relaxed and happy. As playing the violin was no longer for fame, but simply the expression of music and love of life. I invited my old partner pianist Miss Chen Dan to Norway; together we made a CD of my favorite classical violin pieces. Followed that I worked together with a Norwegian pop violinist Leslie made a CD of some most popular songs.

I could feel that I changed, became cheerful, humble, and even became actively contacting family in China, especially when I lost my own Norwegian family with Marianne the family in China was the only one I had.

Finally, I would like to mention my violin making Master Crow. In the beginning only he made calls to me as he never told me his number. Gradually the phone calls got less and less, until none. I quite often fantasize that how my Master Crow would end his life, like his beloved Mary in an unknown cave?

To be continued


畜 鷹(駅倬)
炎 籾(販吭)
坪 否(1000忖參坪夕頭哈喘鯉塀:[img]夕頭銭俊仇峽[/img])

    翌繁 Foreigner ┯薮塀 
    嚥弌宮斌閥^暢霧忽並 ̄ 
    憧咄ゞ幻徨肺〃14 a 
    哂猟 幻徨肺13 
    哂猟 幻徨肺12 
    Father Son & Violin (10) 
    Father Son & Violins (9) 
    Father Son & Violins (8) 
    Father Son & Violins (7) 
    Father Son & Violin (6) 
    Father Son & Violin (5) 
    Father Son & Violin (4) 
    ゞ幻徨肺〃鎗^矢築議社 ̄夕 
    Father Son and Violin 3 
    Father Son and Violin 2 
    Father Son and Violin 
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