Originally published May 31, 2014 on www.GigHarp.com
Just a few weeks ago, my fiancé proposed (I am of course, thrilled!) and gave me a beautiful engagement ring. It is padparadascha solitaire in a white gold setting. Padparadascha is a brilliant orange-pink sapphire stone mined in Sri Lanka and Tanzania. I love it and never want to take it off, but playing with the ring is tough!
Engagement rings, as we know go on the left hand. And, as you may not know the left hand also plays the lower strings of the harp. These are the long metal strings and a source of concern for harpists. They tend to buzz easily because the string vibrates so widely. The combination of engagement ring and metal string is my latest challenge. When the narrow metal band touches the wire string—it clanks, loudly and horribly. Paprika (my cat) doesn’t care for it either. So, I have learned to round the lower part of my left hand so that it does not collide with the wire strings. It still feels awkward, but I’m getting the hang of it. (Alternatively, I can go the route of violinists and wear my ring on my right hand. But I like the symbolism of the left hand tradition.)
My next challenge: my ring is a little loose especially when it’s cool. The ring slides around my 4th finger (aka ring finger) and the gem lands inside my palm. While it does not get in the way of playing, exactly, it is distracting! Ring fitting is imminent! Until then, my ring regularly, but temporarily, finds its way to the jewelry box.