This week, I’ve been reading What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers. I borrowed it from the Ottawa Public Library. The book is a sheer delight in the examples alone, and I am now dabbling in some of the communities mentioned within. I digress, but just a little.
I woke up this morning thinking about the tenor saxophone in my closet. It belonged to mother, and she certainly was not its first owner. She played it in her high school band in the late 1950s. I learned this fact only after I decided to take up the tenor sax myself in my high school band, and while my main instrument was one borrowed from the school, she provided me with her own (and had it repaired) for use at home. The tenor sax in its case is not one of life’s lighter instruments.
My high school experience was very positive. I have fond memories of that time. My family has since left the area, and with the distance involved now, it’s a rare occasion that finds me back in that town. The lessons I learned there are mine to keep.
This instrument has travelled with me through approximately twenty residence changes. (I was a co-op student; I’ve moved only twice in the last fifteen years.) However, I have not played it since 1983, when I had orthodontic work redone. My sister played it for a few years in the mid-eighties in her high school, but it came back to me. I worry about it every move, and it’s the first thing that always comes to mind in the “what would a burglar take” category.
I suspect my youngest child has an ear for it, but she is only 6 right now. If my math is done correctly, she’s well on track to join a high school band in the 2020s. (That just blew my mind.) By then, the instrument will be into its 80s, I think. Would I entrust her with it? I am not sure.
A burglar can’t take the memories of my high school band away, or my mother, or my sister, or for that matter, my child. We have other instruments in the house that do get routinely played: a keyboard, a guitar, and a flute.
We’re also enjoying a weekend drum circle at St. John the Evangelist. The organizer shares his instruments and offers instruction for free.
My tenor saxophone lived in a top shelf in a basement storage room at my last house. I am working up the nerve to open the case today. It is useful. It is beautiful. I am motivated to try and find a new home for it. By this time next week or next month, someone could be playing it. There’s comfort (and joy) in that.
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