May 29, 2016

The wind chime 2.0

It was 22 $ and irresistible. This was the last week of our first stay in Seattle. 1993. We were finishing up a three month adventure. Tight on the budget at the very end. A last stroll down at Pioneer Square. And there it was. The wind chime.

Well, there were lots of them of course. Pretty much a cute little hole in the wall store full of them. All sizes. And only really good quality, as we could see - like we were experts on judging wind chimes…

The 22 $ one was a good size. There were bigger. There were smaller. This was something in between leaning towards bigger. It felt sturdy. The finish of the black lacquered metal was matt. As the wooden clapper. It was simply irresistible.

The wind chimes came in different moods. One giving you Energy, one Soothing. There was Tranquility, High spirits, Ocean breeze and Rain forest. Which ever mood your need was, there was one for you. 

This is coming out as ironic, but that’s not my intention. Those wind chimes were so beautiful. And well tuned. The ring of them were warm and gentle. We fell in love. Felt like we couldn’t return to Sweden without one. So be it, even if we had to have our dinners at Jack in the Box those last few days!

I don’t quite remember which mood became our buy. But my guess is something along the lines of tranquility, that’s always been a strong need of mine.

The wind chime travelled the ocean and found it’s new home at our northern Swedish village farm house front porch. The perfect place. The sound of it was mixed with cranes, black birds and chaffinch. Boys’ laughter, my songs and the ice cream truck. Come to think about it, Trouble & Trouble probably don’t remember their home without the warm sound of the wooden clapper against the black metal.

Summer and winter, sun, rain, snow and ice, the wind chime has been the guardian of the house. The hello and goodbye. For 22 years! 22$ for 22 years! A couple of years ago one of the black metal tubes fell off, the twine did break. And last summer another one came off. I tried to fix it, but the twine, which had been holding up in the northern Swedish climate for 22 (!) years had finally worn out. So what to do? I couldn’t be without my life companion!

Well, there is a simple solution to most things around my place. His name is Mats. A long time friend. What Mats can’t fix isn’t worth fixing. 

Mats isn’t only a handy man, a fine carpenter and a radio producer (although he nowadays makes his living as a programmer (why???!!!)), he is also a brilliant musician. So saving a treasured wind chime is just the perfect task for him.

Now, the problem here was that one of the metal tubes was missing. I don’t know how that happened, I know I’ve saved it, I know I’ve seen it around, but now it had vanished into thin air. I handed the pieces of the house guardian over to Mats and asked him to do what he could.

And he did. A new twine (will it last for 22 years?) is attaching the metal tubes, and the missing one… is replaced! I haven’t yet talked to Mats so I don’t know how he did it, but somehow he found a metal tube (was is black to start with or did he fix the color?) which is now a part of the the happy group playing for me.

Trouble & Trouble put it back on it’s special place a few days ago. And we all noticed it… it had a different ring to it. The harmony was different. It was a different chord!

That’s so interesting! None of us had, during the 22 years been diagnosing the harmony of our long time friend. It’s been like the wind in the trees, the rain, the birds (not the ice cream truck), part of the nature surrounding us.

So, we have no idea which tones have been creating the promised Tranquility here at the end of the road. This updated version though is diagnosed. There is the (if you are counting from the lowest tune, which is just one way of doing it) tonic (1), the 2, the 3, the 4, the 6 and the octave. The octave is Mats addition and I know he has tuned it into perfection.

The question now is, what will this new chord do to me? How will this updated harmony change my life? Will it bring Ocean breeze? Storm and thunder? One thing I can say, the promised Tranquility didn’t happen. Or maybe it did? Maybe it would have been Armageddon without the wind chime and it eased the situation down to only Thunder and Lightning?

It turned out we were experts judging the quality of wind chimes after all, the 22$ were absolutely worth a couple of dinners at Jack in the Box. Even without knowing how much I would enjoy it, I know I would have grieved leaving it behind for the rest of my life. And here we are, 23 years later, the wind chime still kicking after a Mats make over. And I am wishing Tranquility is still around, juiced up with Energy and Stability. That’s what I need.

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