I am struggling to find a good analogy for what has happened to my flute. If you use something a lot, you do not notice that it is not performing as well as it could. Decay is slow and goes unremarked.
I have just picked up my flute from the amazing Daniel Deitch. https://thequietripple.com/2012/08/27/nice-suit/
He has given her a whole body makeover and although she is ~198 years old, she now performs as if she were new. Hats off to the makers, Willis and Goodlad back in the 1820s, such quality, and to Daniel, such craft.
I have only to breathe gently over the sound hole and she jumps into life. Each note is now in tune and even the dreaded low E roll booms out.
A car after a service, a replacement knee, new glasses, shirts with the right collar size, reading Chapman’s Homer?
I struggle. What I am trying to express is something that slowly descends into bad performance, but the descent being unnoticed because of familiarity, suddenly performing at its maximum potential. Such joy! Take up thy bed and walk.