brass restoration

10

Before and after photos of the restoration of a J.Higham cornet. This cornet is from the turn of the century, and came in through the post packed in a wine box. It was beaten up and had several leaks, broken finger hook, missing finger button, no water key, and generally in a pretty bad state.

Now it plays beautifully, with filled splits, sleeved tubes, lapped valves, polished slides, new springs, felts, water key with matching screw, and a brand new finger button made from a flute key. This took a lot of work, but the customer was so pleased they called me as soon as they got it, and with a shake in their voice, thanked me from the bottom of their heart. That made it all worth while.
A Patchwork Maze

I’ve tailored so many suits,
Switching out mismatched buttons for shining brass,
And restoring fabric worn thin over years of well-loved use.

But I cannot tailor this traitorous skin to fit me right.
In some placed it’s too lose,
In others too tight…
I cannot switch out the pieces of me I’d rather live without
For new pieces shining with pride.
There is no way to restore a body to what it should have been,
Or even to the simple majesty of what it once was.

Young and ignorant of its uneven seams.

I’ve hemmed ladies’ skirts to the perfect lengths
So they no longer need to worry about tripping over the excess.
Hemmed them to show just the right amount of ankle
Or perhaps none at all..

But I cannot hem myself..

This excess emotion staining my voice denoted me as “she.”
And I trip over my own voice that no longer fits in my mouth..
While gorgeous girls in gowns show off thin strips of themselves,
I am left trying to hide every piece of my skin.

This is why I have risked sunstroke in the dead of summer
Wearing a hoodie and jeans to keep me safe.
This is why swimming pools are often synonymous with nightmare.

I no longer know how to wear this body with pride.

So when they ask me when I knew I wasn’t a girl…
I have to restrain my urge to laugh and cry all at once.
Because when do we know that something is not as perfect as we once thought..
Only once it has been shown to us and we’ve been told to fix it.

I wish I could go back to being ignorant of my uneven seams.
These uneven seams that I cannot rip out unless I want to bleed out.
These uneven seams that I will never be able to fix to perfection.

But maybe…
Slowly,
Ever so slowly,
We might be able to stretch the seams of this world.
So that no child has to learn to hate or fear
Their jagged edges
Their unhemmable spaces…




But I cannot be one of those children..
So I will use chemicals to hem my voice..
Readjust my buttons…
Stretch my seams…
I will find a seamster more experienced then I
To rip out these traitorous strings
And rearrange the fabric to a more seemly drape.

I will use new fabric to cover up the patterns I am no longer proud of…
The patterns that cloud my days…
I will mend my ways
Learning to live in a patchwork maze
Until my spirit can return to where it truly belongs
In a beautiful blaze.

- EPL (WolvenWatcher) 11/6/2017