Many Years ago I received a call from a gentleman who had seen one of my flutes offered Online for Sale. This gentleman had been looking at a new flute I had recently completed. What was interesting about this flute was it was one of the first flutes I had made where I tuned it using the 432Hz frequency. My son who is an accomplished musician had made the suggestion that tuning a flute at 432Hz might be interesting to craft and see if people could tell the difference. That is for another post but we found plenty of evidence that people in many cases without knowing will choose a flute tuned to 432 Hz verses the standard 440Hz without knowing the specifics.
In addition my wife who is a fairly spiritual being had asked that I add a series of cabochons to this flute. She had selected seven stones from a recent stone buying trip and the colors of these represented the colors of the Human Chakra. Being a flute builder I am always looking for new ideas to introduce with my flutes so I thought why not. This particular flute was crafted from an old piece of Black Walnut that has been harvested on the Eastern Slopes of the Rocky Mountains near Boulder Colorado. What is cool about many of these old beasts is that these giant walnut trees were planted over 160 years ago by settlers making their way west on what today is known as the Oregon Trail. People brought these trees in small pots to plant near their farm houses and such for the shade they produced as well as their fruit they bare.
So I built this flute, added the cabochons and tuned it to a D# as it was a 1 inch bored flute and we called it our first Chakra Flute. Truthfully I had no idea how this flute would be received but it turned out really nice, and actually it was fairly simple in design. It played really well, sounded good and for the most part looked the part.
Back to this gentleman I mentioned earlier. I honestly do not remember his name, only the story behind this post. We spoke over the phone many times as I remember and I was pretty sure he had settled on this flute for himself. He was an older gentleman… that is to say is was in his early 60’s. He had recently discovered the Native American Style Flute and something grabbed him and he told me that he was hooked. This was to be his first flute purchase and I was honored to be his first flute builder. Then all of a sudden I stopped hearing from him.
This Story Comes To Life Recently
Now this first part of the story happened more than 6 or so years ago. To be truthful I had forgotten about this story for some time which is weird in that it really is a story that needs to be told. So about two weeks ago we had a visit from one of our dear friends who was our neighbor in Jackson Hole for several years and she had relocated to Boise Idaho a few years ago. Her son was on a trip back east and the people he was traveling in was from Star Valley Wyoming so when she came to pick him up she spent an evening with us reminiscing. Somewhere in the evening she began talking about all of the flutes I had on my walls throughout my home. She now works in the area of neuroscience and somehow we landed on this story about this Chakra flute.
A Stroke of Bad Luck!
One of the things we had been chatting about is how so many people come to the flute for so many different reasons and that there are so many stories out there about inner healing that the music somehow brings to so many people. I had been telling her about some really interesting stories about a woman named Mary who I have built many flute for and how she uses the Native flute to bring healing to those who are struggling in many facets of their lives. After sharing this story with Carol she encouraged me to share it with others as there may be a blessing in disguise in my discoveries.
Somewhere during the conversation I remembered the story about this Chakra flute and I began the share it with her. As I mentioned above I thought this gentleman whom had contacted me some time ago about this particular flute was going to purchase it but yet disappeared. So back to this story… after several weeks had gone by I received a call from this guys wife and she wanted to know if this Chakra flute was still available and I said yes it was. She shared with me who she was and that her husband whom I had been talking with had recently had a stroke in the past couple of weeks. I was mortified… I truthfully did not know what to say to her.
She wanted to try to bring some joy to his day and she knew how much he liked this flute so she decided to purchase it for him as a gift. She told me she was a bit concerned about giving it to him as she did not know if he could even hold it yet alone play it. Again I had no words other than to be as encouraging as I could. She paid for it and I shipped it the next day. I hoped that in some small way it would bring some joy to this man not knowing the impact it would have… in the short-term anyway.
Weeks went by and life was back to normal for me as I had not heard a word from her about the flute. I assumed it was received ok and I know that FEDEX did their part to deliver it in a timely manner. Then one day several weeks later I received a call from his wife again. She shared with me that she delivered the flute to him and that when she did his eyes lit up and his face was adorned with a big smile. Over several days he apparently played with the flute for hours each day. He even began to play the flute and produced some fairly pleasant music I am told. In fact there were times when hospital staff and other patients lined his doorway as he played away.
The Miracle of the Flute
This is the part that brings such joy to my heart in that I created and voiced this flute without knowing the journey it would take. This man’s wife shared with me that one of the huge challenges for her husband was the loss of his dexterity in his one hand that the stroke clobbered. She told me that each and every day he was gaining back dexterity in his hand and fingers as he continued to play the flute. In fact I was told that he was looking forward to giving concerts to those who would listen. Somehow this flute found its way to a man truly in need and by its very nature it helped this man with the healing process. Something I would have never thought of had I not heard the story.
More time went by and I believe I heard from her one more time about the progress he had been making. He was about to go home and she thanked me for this musical gift. I was humbled yet pleased that in some small way I was able to take part in this journey. I never heard from her or him again so I truthfully have no idea how this all ended up for their family. I can only hope and pray that in the end this Chakra Flute crafted from a piece of old growth Black Walnut brought some peace and healing to him and their family.
Another Phone Call Brings Me to My Keyboard
As I mentioned in the beginning of this post I have been encouraged by Carol to share this story with all of you. For various reasons I delayed sitting down and telling the story that needed to be told. No real good reason as to why but it has been on my mind daily since Carol shared her excitement about this journey. Segue to recent events in my life…
Over the past weeks I have been dealing with the end of life tribulation of an elderly father. So I have had plenty of excuses although none of them too compelling. Recently I received another phone call from an older gentleman that reached out to me as he was seeking a supply of Alaskan Yellow Cedar for his relief carvings. He shared with me over several phone calls that he is a relief carver and his carving are Native American influenced. I have never seen his work but I could feel his passion in our conversations for his art. He knew that I made Native American Style flutes many out of Old Growth Alaskan Yellow Cedar. He had recently read a post of my about a flute I had made for Tony Duncan, Native American Flute Artist and saw that it was crafted from Alaskan Cedar so he called me.
Over several weeks he attempted to purchase from me a supply of cedar and because of my responsibilities to my father I just kept dropping the ball. We exchanged phone calls over several weeks and actually enjoyed each others conversation until finally there was a pause caused by me and as I got things calmed down enough to reach out to him again I was only able to reach his voicemail. Several days after my last message a week or so ago I get a call from his phone number by now which I recognized. Only it was his wife not Bob.
She shared with me that she had received my phone calls and proceeded to apologize for any delays in getting back to me. I assured her I was the one slacking not her. She then told me that Bob had had a stroke the week before. She was not sure about his prognosis but out of love for her husband wanted to make sure the Cedar was purchased and waiting for him hoping that his recovery would allow him to once again pick up his carving tools and maybe… just maybe the carving would be good for his recovery.
Immediately I told her about this post I have been needing to write about another customer of mine that had a stroke prior to purchasing a flute from me. I shared with her the story I am writing now and just the fact that the results were on the positive side of things for this man she told me that indeed this story brings hope to her in that maybe in much of the same way the carving of the wood could help her husband with his recovery and the use of his disable hand.
The story of this Chakra flute has now given hope and healing to two people directly, one because of its physical being and the second through the story of the flute itself. Maybe… just maybe there is a place for the Native American Style flute for those victims who have suffered strokes. I can only hope that there is and if so I want to be part of the solution. Peace to all who read this…