Why I Owe My Present Life To A Cello

August 7, 2012

I had an idea once. It was just a silly idea, I thought. I didn’t know where it came from. It just popped into my head one day as I lay on the top bunk in a small camp-style wooden bunker in the outback of Australia.

My idea was to play the cello. I had never touched a cello or played one. I had never even thought about playing the cello before. Guitar, yes. Cello, no.

Who knows why it popped into my head, for I had just come in from the camp bathrooms. There, little green frogs with suction cups for fingers were jumping up at me from out of the toilet and huge, hairy spiders peered at me from their massive webs.

I marveled at the amount of creatures in Australia while walking back to my room.

Suddenly, a toad nearly the size of my head jumped towards me. I muted a scream as it launched its huge body in my direction again and again. Its thick, warty skin seemed impenetrable.

This toad somehow got situated right in my path. I had to leap over the toad’s damp, lumpy body. Fearing it would somehow follow me inside my cabin, I quickly scrambled inside and to safety on top of my bunk.

This is why I say, I don’t know why,”I want to play the cello” suddenly popped into my head as I lay there on my bunk.

“The sound” I told myself. “The sound is so mellow, so soothing, so deep and healing. I am going to play the cello.” I said in my head. Somehow I knew I would.

My trip to Australia continued for weeks and I couldn’t get the thought of a cello out of my head. It was just a thought, easily dismissed, but it wouldn’t leave and for some reason, I didn’t want it to.

This thought, this idea seemed important. So, I let it linger, thinking that when I got back home it would disappear.

Sometimes when you travel, odd things come to mind. Things like eating big bowls full of my mom’s coleslaw, for example. I used to dream about it and think about how delicious it was, and how I would eat big bowls full of it upon returning home. In reality, her coleslaw is amazing, but who eats bowls full of coleslaw?

I thought that the cello was just another coleslaw-type thought.

Upon returning to the states, however, my cello obsession continued. I pursued going to school to play cello, and checked into taking lessons.

I began hearing all the cello pieces in the music I had listened to a thousand times before and began talking about it constantly. I was on a mission. A cello mission!

One day, my sister called and said I should come to visit her at college. Knowing of my love of the cello she said, “There is this boy, I think you would like him,” she said, “He plays the cello.”

That was all I needed. I was off like a shot.

That boy did play the cello and I fell in love with that boy.

He let me borrow his cello and I played for hours listening to the soothing hum of the strings. I let the notes gently finger my soul, bringing much needed healing. There are some words that are said with music that the human language can’t ever touch.

I married that boy, that boy and his cello. The funny thing is that neither I or he, have played the cello since.

It was sold, that cello, to buy my ring. And my obsession with the cello ended. Just like that. I still loved the sound, but the importance, the lull, the woo of the cello, for me, had left.

It was like it had fulfilled it’s purpose in my life and had therefore left.

The cello obsession led me down the path to meet my Michael and the rest is history.

Sometimes I think back to that original thought I had of the cello, the idea, the picture in my mind. I wonder what would have happened had I dismissed the idea as stupid or put off pursuing the cello because of fear or lack of money or a million other excuses?

photo by red.sideburns

The cello dream played a very important role in my life. It opened my eyes to my present love and, had I not been so obsessed with the instrument he played, would he have caught my eye as he did? Maybe, maybe not.

What I learned from my story is that ideas and dreams are put in our heart for a reason. Not pursuing them is equivalent to a long slow death.

They tickle at our ears, they keep coming up over and over, and the more we push them down, the more they seem to bubble up. They squeeze out through cracks, they ooze from us whether we want them to or not.

They don’t go away.

What happens to unfulfilled dreams and ideas anyway? Do they just shrivel up and die or do they appear again and again as depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, or cancer?

They start to fester when they are not pursued.

Dreams and ideas are placed in our hearts for a reason. A very important reason, which can never be seen from the outset. It can’t be seen because our lives are a story, you know? And any good story has suspense and drama.

So, who knows who you will meet or where your dreams and ideas could take you if they are just given the wings of action to fly.

Think about it.

Question: What are your thoughts on this most interesting topic, I would love to hear! Leave your comments in the comment section.


You Might Also Like


  • Reply Joe Lalonde August 7, 2012 at 6:40 am

    Thanks for sharing the personal story Claudia. It brought a smile to my face thinking about how it’s the little things that bring our lives to the point they’re meant to be. 

    • Reply Claudia Good August 7, 2012 at 9:31 pm

      Totally Joe! Glad I could bring a smile to your face 🙂 

  • Reply Ann Musico August 7, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Claudia I love that story – your story – and you have had such a wonderfully adventurous life!  The story of how you met Michael is beautiful and one I relate to because I met my Alex in a similar way! Not nearly as adventurous – but similar none the less!  I was working as a secretary in a spice company – Durkee Spices.  It wasn’t a very busy office and after 5 years there I was bored.  Out of the blue I decided I wanted to be a legal secretary.  Had no experience or training – but I was determined that I would work in a law firm.  Started interviewing and at this one office interviewed for one of the partners.  He seemed very nice and he seemed like he felt I would be a good fit there.  I got a call shortly after from the office manager saying he chose a girl who was trained as a court reporter.  I was really disappointed – it seemed like such a nice company and close to home.  About a week later the office manager, Mary, called to say one of the other partner’s secretaries was leaving and he wanted me to come and talk to him.  I did and with no prior experience – he hired me.  Turns out no one really wanted to work for him – he was a tough guy to deal with – but I didn’t know that then.   From my first day on the job when he accused me of stealing a $10,000 check which he put in his pocket and forgot (!), it was a challenging job, but I was not about to let that stop me.  (I ended up staying 5 years until I got married and moved to Tennessee, but I’m getting ahead of myself)  I became friends with one of the other girls.  She got engaged and asked me to be in her wedding.  As it turned out my mom passed away suddenly 2 months before the wedding.  I really didn’t even want to be in it any more at that point – but I promised and so I was.  My partner in the wedding was her brother in law – Alex.  As you said, the rest is history!   (And the office manager, Mary, is my daughter Liz’s godmother!)

    I believe God puts these seemingly random thoughts and desires in our hearts because He has a plan and knows if we will just follow our hearts it will lead to what He has in store for us.  I’m certainly glad I was determined to work in that law firm!

    • Reply Michael Good August 7, 2012 at 7:43 am

      Ann, Love the story. (What a boss, by the way!) 

      It’s so cool to look back and see how our current reality came into place. I also love how looking back can help us look to the future and teach us how to shape it!

      • Reply Ann Musico August 7, 2012 at 7:46 am

         Yes, Michael he was quite a trip!!!  But in the end totally worth dealing with!

    • Reply Claudia Good August 7, 2012 at 9:36 pm

      That is so cool Ann! Hahah, wow… tis a winding road and we can’t see where it leads until after we walk it!  🙂

      I love your persistence!

  • Reply Donna Yates August 7, 2012 at 8:33 am

    I love the story!  Claudia, you have had a lot of experiences it seems that most can’t say…Australia, wow!  I actually sell alot to ladies in Australia on etsy.  Apparently they can’t get vintage clothing there.  Anyway, I agree about God giving us ideas or dreams and if we will just follow them, He has great things in store for us. 
    I wanted to give you guys a little update on where I’m at right now.  I close on the house on August 24th.  The appraisal come in about $8K lower than I needed or what we had agreed upon and all I had prayed about was that if selling was in God’s plan, then He’d allow me to be able to get that figure as that’s what I needed due to all the improvements I’d put into the house.  Well,  after much deliberating and negotiating, the buyer agreed to pay me the extra out of their pocket since you can only get a loan for the appraised value!  Talk about God answering prayer!  Once that happened, then the man I have been seeing for about 10 years and I had to decide our next step.  Well, he proposed, I accepted, he gave me a ring, we set the date for August 17 and we’re packing to move to his house!  Once again, an answered prayer!  Now we’re praying about the move to Beaufort, NC.  When is the best time, how to get jobs, etc.  As I stated in the 30 day focus, my goal is to be there by year end.  We are going to work toward that end, together.  God is great and is still in the business of answering prayer! 

    • Reply Claudia Good August 7, 2012 at 9:39 pm

      AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! Donna, 
      Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow, now that is a great story!!! I can’t believe it! 
      I am so excited for you! and I obviously can’t stop using exclamation points! 😉

      What a blessing and a wonderful reminder that we are deeply and wonderfully cared for. Blessings to you and your fiance as you journey down this new road together!

      • Reply Donna Yates August 8, 2012 at 7:46 am

        Thanks so much Claudia.  We are excited to see what’s ahead.

    • Reply Michael Good August 8, 2012 at 7:00 am


      Wow! Congrats! Thanks for the update and we wish you nothing but the best. This is an exciting time of your life. Lots of changes… for the better!

      • Reply Donna Yates August 8, 2012 at 7:50 am

        I agree.  Thanks Michael.

  • Reply jasonvandehey August 7, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Like!      Good reminder that sometimes things have a role in our lives that is limited.  I’ve held onto stuff for years thinking “some day I’ll do that again”, but haven’t.  

    • Reply Claudia Good August 7, 2012 at 9:43 pm

      Haha, I like the carryover from facebook Jason! 🙂 Cool.

      oh yes, what a great little sentence you wrote there. Some things in our lives are limited and letting go is… wow… so freeing!

  • Reply Michael Wright August 11, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Claudia, this post is so well written and touching.  My goodness, you have these stories in the form of posts and you can so easily share it with Jude and your future children, how nice.   Probably my favorite so far.   I believe that God will continually prod us towards his plans for us, but maybe more so if we do pay attention.  That close communion is priceless.  Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Reply Claudia Good August 14, 2012 at 5:26 pm

      Well thank you Michael! You always give such nice compliments, makes me smile!
      The blog has been a journal of sorts for us, and I do treasure it already! 😉

    Leave a Reply