Note Memory

To be honest, almost anything would have been an improvement after yesterday. Today I did have a little more energy and was able to be more productive. The major fly in my ointment was that my printer suddenly ran out of ink in the middle of printing out stuff for my students this afternoon! I was able to photocopy one thing on my husband’s printer and email the kids the other files, but it was frustrating. I go through more ink and paper than anyone else I know!

I also got some things of Lina’s sorted out, did some paperwork, and started working on my presentation for the writers’ workshop I’ll be teaching at. I am presenting material that I’ve presented before, but in the interval I have (of course) thought of ways to improve it. I guess that means I’m going to have to take a refresher course in PowerPoint . . .

I also chorded some hymns for autoharp. Two of them are easy ones from the hymnbook, but the third one is a special case, and highlights why I love playing the autoharp so much. When I was growing up in Zambia, we often sang a hymn titled, “At Even, Ere the Sun Was Set.” I loved the tune and I loved the hymn.

When I arrived here in the States, I looked for that hymn in every hymnbook I encountered. It wasn’t in any of them. Eventually, I got the brilliant idea of buying a used copy of the hymnbook we had actually used when I was a kid. It had to come from Ireland, as there were no copies available in the USA. I was so happy when it came. I went right to that hymn, and guess what? The words were there, but the tune in the hymnbook was not the one I knew and loved!

Over the next several years, I tried repeatedly to find that tune, with zero success. Now, however, it’s no longer an issue, because I have an instrument to play and a very accurate memory for tunes. I was able to figure out the chords for that tune in about fifteen minutes! My autoharp teacher has told me that this ability is not common—to be able to hear in my head and reproduce a tune I haven’t actually heard for decades. I am very grateful for it. It means I can finally hear again tunes from my childhood that have lived only in my head all these years.


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