I had a most extraordinary and exciting day today.
When I was little, as I think I mentioned before, the first country I ever wanted to visit was Holland. And I am here. I had actually forgotten that this was one of my first childhood dreams until I realized that I was coming here.
One of my fascinations as a child was music boxes. I loved music boxes and was totally fascinated by them. When I was about 6 years old I had a stuffed rabbit with a music box in it. One day I decided I wanted to find out how the music box worked so I some how managed to open up the rabbit and remove his stuffing, followed by the music box itself. I was thrilled to discovered the inner workings. I got in serious trouble for it- I actually got a spanking- which I didn't understand because as far as I was concerned, it was my rabbit to do whatever I wanted with it, and I did not regret for a moment taking it apart!
The next one I got was a little piano which I didn't have to take apart because I could lift up the top of the very baby grand piano and see into it! My fascination with music boxes had begun- also with watches. It wasn't long before I got a watch which I took the back off of so that I could see how it worked and watch the little gears inside of it move as the seconds and minutes ticked by. Reincarnation was not an unusual dinner topic in our somewhat unusual family and I was quite certain from a young age that in a past life I had been a watchmaker and repairer. I loved the idea that I had once been a happy little old man in Switzerland taking apart, repairing and building cuckoo clocks.
What I never imagined was that there might be a museum of musical clocks and music boxes! When my friend Jane mentioned to me that she wanted to visit this museum in Utrecht that she'd read about and would love to go with me while I was here, I jumped at the chance. Certainly had I ever known that there was such a thing it would have been on the top of my list of places to visit in the world. What an incredible wonderful place beyond my wildest dreams!
It was a very cold wet rainy day in Utrecht and Jane and I were quite chilled when we reached the museum which seems to be in a very old church in Utrecht that has been restored as this amazing museum. We decided to go into the cafe first and get warmed up but I kept jumping up and looking at these huge extraordinary "music boxes", many of which were so huge that they were more like wagons from a carousel. I was absolutely astounded and so thrilled that I actually had tears in my eyes. At one point I actually thought "This is the happiest day of my life"- being in this museum that was dedicated to this incredible creative exploration of playful and beautiful ways of creating sound with exquisite detail and craftsmanship... I felt like I had entered into the heart of these miraculous musical machines that I so adored as a small child and have been fascinated with all my life.
To see pictures from my visit to the museum click here.
When we left the museum it was colder and rainier than when we got there. We had parked quite a ways away and it was so windy that I was using the umbrella as a cane on the cobblestones streets which worked far better than the function it was designed for. Cold and soggy, we got back to the car with our clothes soaked through, but we were laughing, delighted with our adventure and entry into a land of musical magic.