First things first.  For all of you who aren’t my friends on Facebook, here’s a picture of a Friday Fictioneers meeting in New Jersey on Wednesday.  The culprits are: Rich standing, your truly sitting on the left, Sharon on the right.  A great deal of fun was had by all.  Hopefully there will be more meetings.  We’re planning a history tour of Philadelphia next.


On to the writing.   A group of scribblers gathers weekly from around the globe for a virtual fun fest of writing based on a picture chosen after enormous deliberation by our intrepid leader, Rochelle Wisof f (no “h”)-Fields.  Once we’ve written and posted the innermost thoughts of our fevered brains, we read what everyone else has written by clicking on the little blue link critter found after our stories.

No reason you can’t join in the fun.  Possible categories of participation are (singly or in any combination): reading, pressing “like”, commenting, writing your own story and linking it by following Rochelle’s directions, or going mad from trying to do all of these for all the stories.  No matter what you choose, it’s so much fun that you’ll find  yourself happy that Friday comes on Wednesday each week. (Does that make it like Daylight Savings time, giving we get an extra few days and hours of daylight each week?)


Music: The Speech of the Soul

In the thirty years since her initial audition with the orchestra where he was principal cello, their marriage had weathered the drama of the music business, the travel, long hours, and friendly competition.

When arthritis gnarled his hands too much to play, he rejoiced in her first chair appointment, never missing a performance.  Now, after the stroke, he lay locked inside himself, unable to communicate.

By his hospital bed, the cello a hard-won concession, she closed her eyes tightly against tears, whispered his joshing words from that first day, “We could make beautiful music together”, and began to play softly.


“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination
and life to everything.”
― Plato

“Music . . . can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable.”
― Leonard Bernstein

“Who hears music, feels his solitude
Peopled at once.”
― Robert Browning, The complete poetical works for Browning

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent”
―Victor Hugo

  1. billgncs says:

    lovely thoughts that reflect a lovely soul

  2. boomiebol says:


  3. yerpirate says:

    Truly wonderFul picture…it really is a touch emotional somehow!

  4. yerpirate says:

    That became beautiful and very touching – and very interesting juxtaposed against kz’s couple.

    • I haven’t read any of the other pieces yet or rather, I just started after posting mine. Now I’m intrigued. Once I get to the end of the first row, I have to take a real life break and do some work. Then on to row two.

      Glad you liked the story and always happy to hear your comments.

  5. So sad and sweet, Janet! I’ve been told that hearing is the last sense to go.

    * * *

    It was a lot of fun talking our heads off yesterday, wasn’t it?

    • It was great. The only thing that would have made it better would have been being able to do it longer. Didn’t get home until 9 as it was, so it worked well.

  6. Hi Janet,
    A beautiful and sad story covering a long and harmonious relationship. Well done. Ron

  7. Joyce says:

    This is beautiful, Janet. A serious, moving, touching drama that just came to life and I feel for that man in his sick bed, and sympathize with his wife.

  8. R. E. Hunter says:

    Very touching. Well done, Janet.

  9. wmqcolby says:

    (sniff, sniff) Beautiful. More than poetic, it was thoughtful and eloquent. Great, Janet!

  10. muZer says:

    Awww.. Such a bittersweet story. And portrayed their emotions so well along with the trial and tribulations of their relationship.

  11. Dear Janet,
    This brought me to tears. Any words I add can only diminish the beauty of this tender story of unconditional love.

  12. kz says:

    this is truly beautiful and touching.. (first words that came to my mind and not copying pirate’s comment. lol ) i’m a romantic so i like your story better than mine ^^

    • Thanks, kz. I’m a romantic, too, but sometimes things aren’t romantic and don’t go well and we have to present that side, too, which you did well. Thanks for stopping by!

  13. JackieP says:

    touching. A nice post, full of sweetness and love.

  14. Ok, I need a tissue. Nicely done. Raw love at its best.

  15. nightlake says:

    emotional and well done. yes, both are similar when it comes to stroke and the sentimental touch:) Thank you for commenting on mine:)

  16. Tom Poet says:


    I was sure I was going to get a bunch of puns out of you on this one but you surprised me. Touching, moving, graceful and as sweet as true love. You made me sad and happy at the same time, pulled on my strings and played this one beautifully. I was moved. Lovely.


  17. tedstrutz says:

    Oh… this is Sad and Beautiful… two words that go nicely together.

  18. tedstrutz says:

    I would be remiss if I did not comment on the other photo above. I’m sure the three of you went blue in the face correcting each other’s grammar… how long did it take Starbucks to throw you out? Wish I had been there.

    • Oh, we didn’t correct our own grammar, we just trashed that of everyone else. 🙂 Ha!! Really it was a great time and it would have been even more fun if you’d been there. And are you kidding? Starbucks loved us.

  19. Sandra says:

    Beautiful story Janet. And love the photo.

  20. claireful says:

    Really beautiful. Incredibly touching. Every word perfect. Well done.

    So nice to proper pictures of people – doesn’t Rich look different from his FF picture? 😉
    I’m coming to San Francisco next July (from the UK) for my honeymoon, so if you know of any FFs in that area it would be great to meet up. I’ll mention it on my post next week. Claire

    • Claire, congratulations on your wedding! I wish I were close enough to San Francisco to meet you and your husband there, but alas, I’m not. Hopefully you’ll find some FF there as it’s so much fun to put faces and personalities to names. So glad you liked the story.


  21. How deeply poignant, Janet. “Locked inside himself” is such a perfect (if sad) description. Well done.

    Great to see a picture of the meetup!

  22. That picture is worth a hundred words…

  23. I hope to be like that with my wife, although neither of us plays the cello. It’s a very beautiful, romantic story.

    • Thanks, David. I have a large romantic streak and try to be like that with my husband as well, although of course I hope neither of us is ever in this situation. But every marriage has trials and standing by and with the spouse is vital. So happy you liked the story and took something personal away from it.


  24. That is a heartbreaker and a very interesting dynamic. Well done!

  25. unspywriter says:

    Very sweet. I had a similar last line, but a different lover.

    Here’s mine:

  26. Jan Brown says:

    Just lovely! I also greatly appreciate the quotes that follow the story.

    • Thanks, Jan. I love finding quotes to go with my photos, so I thought there would be some good music ones available and there were. Internet searches can be beautiful things. 🙂

  27. rgayer55 says:

    You put a lump in my throat. What a touching story. I’d read it again, but I’m afraid I’d start crying. OK, I couldn’t help it–I read it again. Hand me a Kleenex

    • A deeply felt thank you for the most lovely compliment. BTW, I have a box of Kleenex if you want to stop by again. Multiple readings are a compliment in their own right so again, thanks.

  28. Beautiful, Janet. I love idea of husband and wife musicians in the orchestra together. What an exciting life that would be, but also very trying at times I’m sure. The music was the bond that held them together. You captured their life together in this piece. Well done!

  29. KC says:

    Pretty-pretty…hit me right in the feels. Thank you. And you are so lucky to live near enough to people to hang out together. I bet that was awesome fun. 🙂 I hope you get to do it a lot more!


    • I’m so pleased the story got to you, KC, and thanks for telling me. As for Rich and Sharon, it would be nice to be closer as we’re currently about 7 hours apart. But since our daughter goes to school in Philly and I’m there sometimes for that reason, it works to get together occasionally.

  30. kingsleycw13 says:

    Touching, emotive work. As a musician, I can relate to it all. Shivers!

  31. I work with my partner, we sit side by side in our office day in, day out and we enjoy the cameraderie of that experience, so I can understand the way your heroine feels in your story. Nice 🙂

  32. Anne Orchard says:

    Well told, Janet. I’d love to know what happens next. Does her music reach him and help him find his way back?

  33. brudberg says:

    Oh so sad and sweet, tears in my eyes are rare… Brilliant.

  34. Dammit, you made me cry. Beautiful. Now I have to find the kleenex.

  35. Debra Kristi says:

    A beautiful story that really tugs at the heart strings. Lovely.

  36. Very touching, interesting to see those instruments as a very lifeline for someone who has lost all else. Nice …

  37. this one got me. I work in a nursing home and have come to understand how music touches the soul. thank you.

  38. vbholmes says:

    Very sensitive story, Janet. And I’m sure her music did speak wonders to him no matter how badly damaged he was by his stroke.

    • Thanks, VB. I believe that music does speak to people in ways that speech can’t, even more so when music is a major part of your life. We don’t know what unconscious people can hear and process.

  39. EmmaMc says:

    Very touching and reflects how music can reach and connect us in so many ways. Beautiful.

  40. Dear Janet,

    I’ve been working my way toward your story from the bottom of the pile, always keeping my eye on the prize and i was not disappointed. I love it when a sentence at the end of a good story brings tears to my eyes. Still smiling and tearing up. Lovely story. thanks.



    • Doug, gracefully said and gratefully received. As I’ve said before, I always look forward to your feedback. You must have had a busy weekend if you’re still reading stories.

      Hope you’re having a lovely day!


      • Dear Janet,

        I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to read all the stories, yet I try, because of how I feel knowing you are reading mine.

        (Is there a chance you could correct all my goobledygook spelling mistakes in the earlier comment? Then, and only then, will your kind reply be true.) I claim altitude sickness….yeah, that’s the ticket.

        And I just now finished reading all of the stories. Long haul, but worth it.



      • I just thought the keyboard was fighting back during your comment. 🙂 Altitude sickness sounds perfect or maybe, volcanic fumes.

        I know what you mean about the stories. It takes lots of time, more than you would imagine for stories that are “only” 100 words, but it (generally) fun and a learning experience each week. And yes, when I know people are reading mine, I want to read theirs as well.

        Off to get some more work done. Blessings on your day.


      • P.S. Editing done. 🙂

  41. rich says:

    painfully well done. “could make” still has hope. “could’ve made” is final and over. either one. still well done.

    • Glad you made it by, Rich. I always enjoy your comments. In this case, the quote is from what he originally said to her, so it has to be “could make”, but it also conveys hope when repeated by her at his bedside. I think there’s the chance of recovery, to whatever extent, here.

      • rich says:

        oh, it can be either way, whatever you prefer, either works. i’ve been very slow this week. weekend. just catching up now. having some work done at the house, out shopping for last minute items for renovation, and just reading some now. happy monday!