Saturday, August 6, 2011

Harping and Writing

by Cindy R. Williams
Two of my favorite people, Tony and Joanni Judd, on their wedding day.

This is my magical harp, Arvilla. Did you know if you are the first owner of a harp, you have the privilege and responsibility of christening it with it's eternal name? Arvilla is the middle name of my favorite, and only dear mother. The name reminds me of vanilla, a yummy taste and a sublime smell. My mother doesn't like the name so much so it's fun to tease her a bit by using the name - not that I ever yanked her chain growing up or anything.

Playing the harp channels my muse and also calms my soul. I often play late at night in the dark. It's not like playing a trumpet so I don't wake anyone. If they do happen to stumble out of bed, they think they are hearing angels so it's all good.

I have found that writing harp music is pretty much the same process as writing stories. Sometimes the notes flow out and they sound wonderful, but other times, nothing comes. Nada, stone-cold dry. When that happens, I play whatever my heart desires and enjoy the lilting music that floats around the lofty ceiling. When nonsense or no sense comes out of my fingertips on the keyboard of my computer, I often dive into the pool and float on my back make cloud animals.

Just yesterday there were dragons swooping in and out of thunder clouds along with some slashes of lighting giving me two good reasons to slosh out the pool. The first and most important was to quickly jot down the dragon scene before it slipped away and the second reason was to avoid getting zapped by lightning. Maybe not in the correct order, but both important none the less.

The muse is a tricky little minx at best. I think I will try enticicing the muse with chocolate. Has this worked for anyone? What works for you?


  1. I always wanted to try the harp. I think the lap harp would be esp. cool. I did play violin and guitar. Now I play tin whistle and bodhran (Irish drum) and some piano. I need to get the bridge on my guitar fixed.

    My daughters play in the Tucson Jr. Strings, one the cello and the other the violin. We're hoping they'll move up into the next highest chamber orchestras this year.

    It's true about music. I go play as often as I can at church. I come out of there not seeing straight. Literally. I don't know what it is but the music fills me so much that I actually have to wait a few minutes before my eyesight clears. It really brings me peace, though.

  2. Thanks Heidi, I wish you lived closer. I teach harp and would love to teach you. How wonderful that your daughters play in the orchestra. Music is a lovely gift to others and ourselves.


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