Sunday, September 19, 2010
I saw it coming.
Since the first day I tuned up my harp here in Hawaii, I knew it wouldn't last. My harp, born in the desert of Henderson, Nevada, did not take well to the humidity of being two blocks from the ocean on the rainy side of a tropical island. The only question was, how long did I have? Each day the soundboard bent more and more until finally... POP!
The right side of the board ripped out of the box.
So I took all the tension off the strings and went to the hardware store for some epoxy. After I glued everything back together I waited a week to let the epoxy set. And then I began to tune up. Very slowly.
I couldn't bring myself to take it up to true pitch. If the soundboard comes out of the box, that's one thing, but with the way the wood was warping, I worried that a crack right up the middle would come next. That can't be repaired.
So I left it a third interval low. And just to see what would happen, I tried playing it.
It's different, but it still sounds good. Instead of crisp and bell-like, the sound is mellow, older, more soothing. I like it. And I know that, tuned to a lower pitch, there's less tension on the soundboard and my harp will last longer.
So I got to thinking about my life. Back on the mainland my life was tuned to a high pitch. I ran around, involved in this hobby and that volunteer effort. But here, I don't have so many things I'm involved in. I have time to go sit by the sea and watch the waves.
It's different, but still good. In fact, I think I'll last a little longer this way.
Posted by Rebecca J. Carlson at 8:51 PM