The Gypsy Rose

Posted by PJBraley on May 2, 2018


The Gypsy Rose

          Ensconced in her black velvet-lined shell, the Gypsy Rose reclines in a shady corner of my library.  For the second time in our relationship, I have abandoned her beauty and voice in the expediency of being the obedient daughter, loving wife and mother, dedicated employee.  Of all that I am, she is the only remaining evidence of what I am not – I am not a musician. 

          The desire to share the music flowing through my mind inspired a love for classical guitar.  However, family obligations competed with lessons, leading to inconsistent performances.  Once encouraging, instructors became condescending.  Accepting that determination alone would never be enough, I silenced her voice along with my ambition.

          Yet, I could not let her go, and she has been my patient companion as life moved me from coast to coast.  Years blurred until, finding myself an empty nester, I decided to try again. 

          My new instructor said, condescendingly, “At your own pace.” 

          Hours of dedicated practice take their toll on time needed for other responsibilities.  Interruptions lead to lessons missed, then abandoned.  Once more, the Gypsy Rose is relegated to a shady corner of my life. 

            Despite the shifts in my identity throughout the decades of our relationship, she is my constant, the link connecting a younger woman’s dreams of the musician she was never meant to be and the writer I am today. There is a lot to be said for perseverance; hers and mine. 

          Closing my eyes, my hand dances along her lovely ebony neck, the strings beneath my fingers sing in perfect tune, and my thoughts wander to the luthier’s sunny workroom in Spain where she was born.

          Oh, my beautiful Gypsy Rose, what dream did you give up for me?