Monday, April 11, 2011

The Pleasure of a Saxophone

Yesterday, after church, Randy and I drove to Downtown Houston for brunch. Birraporetti's has good food and even better service. The people that work there, and dine there, are an obvious mixture of breeds and lifestyles. Old and young. Black, brown, and white. Gay and straight. Sunday church attenders and those that don't. Those that openly thank God for their food, and those that dig right in. 

For some reason, it's easy to become 'neighbors' with everyone there - to smile, to say 'hello', to ask where someone is from, what did they just do in Houston, etc. "We just came from church" - "Oh wow, what church do you go to?" - "We just saw 'Amadeus' at the Symphony Hall" - "We're celebrating our Anniversary" ... and, the tables are situated in such a way that at least four other tables hear what the one is saying, and that's how you simply chime in.

Amid all of this is a live musician. He has a small, out-of-the-way, area in which to play his guitar, have a microphone, and a stool. He doesn't play so loud that you can't have a conversation, nor so low that you can't hear him...he's like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, he's just right.

Well, Randy and I were finished eating, and were on our way out the door - which causes you to walk by the musician. I noticed, though, that he had set his guitar down, and brought out a beautiful saxophone. I was so happy to see the sax that I told him I was going to stand to the side and listen to his next song. I wasn't going to miss an opportunity like way.

I didn't explain about my deafness, nor about my cochlear implant. He may have known by looking at me, and seeing my processor and magnet on my head; but, it was never discussed, nor pointed out. I've always wanted to hear a sax, and understand its purpose within music. I no longer wanted to imagine its sound; but, to truly hear it.

 Will I like it? Will it be better than my imagination? Worse? -->  I wanted to find out.

He began to play, and left his small area to stand right in front of me...a foot away.  He closed his eyes, and gave the entire rendition his all. He plays extremely well, and it took everything I had to keep from bursting into delightful, blissful tears. I literally could have sobbed right then and there.

He played high notes, then swirled down to lower ones. They were crisp and clear, yet smooth. He'd hold notes for 12 counts or more in various places; but, at the same time, it all sounded so beautifully wonderful.

It was then that I understood the pleasure of a saxophone. The hearing of a beautiful instrument by someone who was very good at playing it. Though he was as close as one could get, I desired to be even closer. I suppose I wanted to hear more -- don't stop, keep playing, everybody be quiet and let me hear this even louder.

But, though that wouldn't have been realistic, I'm glad it couldn't happen because I surely would have broken down and cried. I surely would have had to explain that it was the first time I had ever heard such a sound from a saxophone -- in all my life.

Thank you, Jesus, for that opportunity...I loved it.

As my husband opened the door for us to leave, it was then that the tears started flowing. He was like, "Oh, nooo!" But, I didn't care - even if those walking along the street saw my tears ... I allowed myself to cry, and told Randy how wonderful it was to HEAR that saxophone.