One of the stations in my life journey was the School of Oriental and African Studies of London University, where I taught anthropological linguistics for several years. In the basement of the old red-brick building was housed a most magnificent collection of ethnic African musical instruments, which had come into existence thanks to the life-long efforts of a man whose name I have forgotten, a Anglican priest and an indefatigable student of African music. I used to spend many enjoyable hours with him in that basement, listening to his stories and explanations.
One of the instruments that impressed me most was a xylophone made of rosewood. It was a very simple construction that could produce unusual resonating clicks. I decided that it would be easy enough for me to attempt to build such a xylophone for myself. But where would I get rosewood? No timber store in London stocked such wood. I looked feverishly through various directories until I came across the typically English title, The Royal Timber Society. The secretary directed me, in the King's English to a faraway dock on the banks of the River Thames, where redwood was to be found. I somehow managed to find the place. The man in charge Cockneyed to me that they had two leftover chips that I could purchase for a negligible price. He led me to two unimpressive, coarse and quite ugly logs, which he agreed to sell to me for fifty pounds each. I was shocked by the price, but it was too late to withdraw. I somehow carried the exceedingly heavy logs home and set myself to work. It should have been simple enough--cutting pieces of wood to shape and size and tying them together with a rope. The rosewood, however, did not think so. It refused to be cut at all. It defied saws, knives, hammers and even glazier's diamonds. I felt mounting frustration. The rosewood simply refused to become the xylophone I dreamt about.
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Publication information: Book title: Culturally Competent Family Therapy:A General Model. Contributors: Shlomo Ariel - Author. Publisher: Praeger Publishers. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1999. Page number: 213.