My mother was doubtful, my sister surprised, my friend Abigail wistful. “You’re so brave,” she said. I’m fairly certain they all expected me to be nervous about spending three days in the city alone. But I could hardly keep the glee out of my voice.
Veroli is just a name on a piece of paper in my mother’s handwriting — part of my grandmother’s history that my mother had written down before my grandmother passed away. Out of pages of stories, there are only a few lines mentioning Veroli.
“Kind nuns took me in.”
“A town in the hills near Rome.”
The violin has forced me out of my cubicle into a world without muscle memory or transferable skills. Everything is a battle. My hand cramps holding the bow. C sharp never sounds quite the same in the second measure as in the first. I can’t tune without my teacher’s trained ear. It is humbling to arrive on Irene’s doorstep having made no progress from the previous Tuesday. The opportunities for me to fail on the violin are daily and infinite.