He’s still playing
By Rory C. Keel
Recently I ran across a post on Reddit and felt compelled to write something about the picture of this boy playing the violin. What does this have to do with a writing blog? Consider it a writing exercise.
Diego played his violin. With each pull of the bow across the strings his chin trembled and tears spilled from his eyes. But Diego played.
The twelve-year-old boy held the instrument in his hand as if it were his life. Born in the slums known as a favela, a Brazilian squatter settlement, Diego lived there until Evandro da Silva rescued him and taught him to play the violin.
Diego suffered from leukemia, yet his fingers moved with grace, and with a purpose as he performed the most mournful song his violin had ever made. He still played.
His music teacher, Evandro da Silva, the coordinator of the musical group Afro-Reggae, was assaulted and killed by a gang in Rio de Janeiro in October of 2009.
At his mentor’s funeral Diego’s tears washed down across the surface of his violin as he played, but he kept playing.
His teacher had given him a gift; Evandro had taught Diego and several other kids how to play musical instruments and they would use that talent to raise donations for other sick kids.
In March of 2010, only five months after playing at his teacher’s funeral, Diego died during a medical procedure related to his leukemia. At twelve years of age his tears had stopped, but I’m sure Diego is still playing.
Photo published in Zero Hora