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  • Writer's pictureRaffaella Macuz


It had been there for a while, beautiful, strong, powerful, something was still missing, I had other things to do, and it had remained there, a little impatient, but forced to resign itself to waiting ... I imagine that kings, and queens, do not wait willingly at all, even if they are able to conceive and implement long-term plans and designs, and therefore able to wait for the propitious time, neither early nor late, just the right time for the step to be taken ... but that is another matter.

Every now and then I felt that it was calling me, the king, The King, and scolding me, even... I couldn’t do anything else, I had no time, especially internal time, internal space, to take care of it, my life flows like that of everyone, rarely in a simple and linear way, and in that noise, in that rage of winds and currents, I could not, it was not right, I would not have been able to deal with the king more than I did, protecting it from attacks, from dust, from bad encounters, and leaving it incomplete, unfinished, unfinished that “something” that was needed to accomplish, complete, bring to light, to the world, to the eyes of others ... our difficulties in completing, in concluding, in finishing, towards the "behold, it is finished!" have ancient and recent roots, powerful and well alive.

I did not know, to be honest, what exactly was still missing, what was not in harmony, in balance, but I knew that something was there, and I could not find it with the ease with which I usually find what I need, scissors, car keys, credit card, phone ... not that they do not hide, ah no, they do it well, almost everything constantly runs the risk of having hidden, even if I have them under my nose, as they say, a kind of mischievous elf who takes the trouble and the taste of annoying me by hiding the things I am looking for, and then it looks at me amused while I am annoyed, I swear and rant, until, finally, I find it exactly where it was supposed to be, under my princely nose.

Oh no, what it took, what was missing, I just couldn't find it anywhere... for some time I have been beginning to accept the idea that seems to us, we feel to seek, to try to find, but that we do not find when we try ... we do not find the answers by looking for them spasmodically, we do not find the ideas through the research effort, at a certain point they arrive, they show themselves, and it often happens to me to see that they were there for a long time, right under my nose, like the keys, or the phone, or the glasses ... and so, a few days ago, it was a Tuesday, all at once, I knew what had to be done.

It sounds like an old song, maybe Tuesday will be my good news day, gosh, that wonderful voices, so warm, soulful, alive, ancient, indomitable... it's not really that I started running to go to the labo, but, here, almost, yes, a special excitement, a fresh, new, clear, bright thing, I laughed for satisfaction, I run to my king ... and of course my king pouts, and begins to try to scold me again, but he stops immediately, he understands that today is the day, that it is today and not tomorrow, that it could only be today, and every other day would have been the wrong one.

And he ceases all resistance, all attack, and helps me, making royal nods of assent to my every idea ... the frog, what do you say, Majesty, the frog, away that ugly ebony frog, yes, it's fine, it's not ugly, but it's normal, banal, it's not worthy of Your Majesty (you should have seen it, eh yes, a bit of vanity, who doesn't have it ...), no no no and no again, the horn one, ancient, is worthy of you, Majesty... complete approval, a brief, regal, nod of assent... here he was, he had been there for a long time, also apparently disappeared, devoid of existence, lost, damned elf ... a little ashamed, yes, everything oxidized, sad, as only abandonments can make us all ... but I know the job, and after a few minutes it shone like a new June sun, at the beginning of summer...

And then its house, the house of the frog, aahhhh, it was necessary to clean, arrange, make it suitable to accommodate the frog, and with a will, but an easy, light, precise will, like the second prelude of the second volume of the well-tempered harpsichord, returns and returns without unnecessary repetitions, only those that we need, only where they need, only when they need, and the mortise (gosh, what a name for the house of the frog... mortise, mortise and tenon, the base of the joints of the shipwrights, that mort that seems to carry inside, sudden and unexpected, death ... the name alone is frightening, and for me it does not correspond at all to what it is, since it is the house of the mother screw, which, by putting the bow in the right tension, gives life to the sound ... mother screw is much better, but let's not digress) becomes what it must be, the house of the life of the bow, of its vital tension.

The King seems happy with me, and looks at me questioning, what now? Your Majesty, now the bowhair, and for you the bowhair cannot be white, white does not reflect and does not exalt your kingship, your grandeur and power... he seemed happy with my words, I had a nod of royal assent, so which bowhair? Black, Your Majesty, noble black, black as a night without stars, deep and unfathomable, the blue of the sky changed into sudden and mobile reflections of a deep blue, that black, Majesty, is the black for you.

And quick we are at work on the bowhair, it almost seems that the threads are arranged in order by themselves, the thick comb flies without encountering any resistance, light as a cloud, a passing and fast shadow that immediately disappears, they cling to the mortises, in perfect intimacy with the frog and with the bowtip.

The King looks, and looks again, an eyebrow is slightly raised, as if it said something is still missing, what are you waiting for? I grin between me and me, I know very well, it is the cloak, there is no King without a cloak, and the cloak I am preparing for him is a special cloak, a secret that I hold tight, a gift from a great Master Luthier, Cesare Gualazzini ... Cesare, my friend, we spent time together, magnificent, your humor and your originality remain unique, you have left too, recently, but you also stay with me, as long as I have life ... I know, with Giovanni you have not so many resemblances, opposite personalities, so to speak, but I know that all in all you will get along, and the company will not be so miserable.

I prepare and lay out the cloak, I cover the King, it is silk, Your Majesty, not shiny, nor matte, alive and soft, light and very resistant, it will not strain your step and will protect you better than any other mantle.

The King looks, the gaze is sharp, every little detail is seen, examined, judged, approved... but she snorts, in the end, still not enough, I pretend not to understand, I show surprise, I pretend to be lost and embarrassed ... as if I did not know that the King thinks of his people, always of his people, because he is a good King, of how he can and perhaps must serve it, to the best of his knowledge and ability.

He has known me for a long time, this good King, and he is not fooled by pantomime, nor does he say a word, because he knows that I will do what must be done: the royal rosin must be wisely offered and harmoniously welcomed by the black bowhair, the King knows that a strong bow like him is extremely demanding, it requires all my strength to offer the rosin, but he also knows that his noble nature, the nature of his fiber is such as to make my effort not too burdensome, certainly challenging, but not exhausting.

And so it was, stroke by stroke, at every stroke the bowhair welcomes and calls the substance that transforms the encounter between hair and string into sound, forward, slowly, but forward, forward, until everything is accomplished, the King shows himself in his beauty and power, and to me come stupid tears in the eyes, of which every time I wonder the reason, the why, the meaning, and every time the answer is there and every time I get rid of it ... but this time I don't, and the good voice of my Queen murmurs, my friend, it was a bit like that when your daughters came into the world, wasn't it?

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