Between moving [and dusting] my piano as we cleaned and decluttered and repaired our house to list it for sale and talking to a piano teacher about the merits of starting Annalyn in lessons next year instead of this one, playing the piano – or my lack of it – has been on my mind.
It started because of a rabbit trail. It’s always the rabbit trails.
I opened a new tab for Facebook and just one swipe down the screen took me to a friend’s link to an article. It looked fairly interesting and I was procrastinating, so I clicked. And that article referenced another one, so I clicked there, too. The second article mentioned The Civil Wars, and I thought about how I didn’t know much of their music, even though my cooler friends talked about them a lot.
So I opened another tab for Pandora and created a station called The Civil Wars Radio. It played one song by the duo then immediately switched to Mumford & Sons. And I thought about how I already have a Mumford & Sons station and wondered if I should just add The Civil Wars to my Mumford & Sons station. Then I decided to quit wasting time and to get to work.
As the station played in the background and my fingers typed and clicked, actually finishing a small amount of work, the back of my mind wandered. I thought about how I have half a dozen stations that all end up playing the same songs, and I wondered if that was weird or bad or nothing at all.
After changing laundry and refilling my water glass (the perks of working from home. Yes, it’s glamorous.), I settled back onto the couch behind my laptop. As I pulled up the project I needed to finish, I noticed the song playing was purely instrumental. Actually, it was purely piano.
BAM! It hit me.
I stopped pretending to work and closed my eyes. That made it easier to feel the music and harder for the tears to escape. Still, I had to open them eventually.
When I did, the light was bright and the tears escaped and my heart hurt.
And I thought about how I feel now at Christmas and Easter, how I physically long for choir practice and chords and harmonies and hoarse voices after one more rehearsal.
I remembered the August morning, sitting in a circle with 15 or so other freshman, playing a get-to-know-you game. You know the one, where you say your name and then a word that both describes you and starts with your first initial. Lots of words start with “M,” but I didn’t waste a second thinking of them. I simply said, “My name is Mary and I am musical,” when it was my turn.
Back then that still made sense. I’d done everything music-related I could in high school from choir to band to musicals. I was taking a break from some of that as I entered college, but I knew I’d keep it up.
Except . . . I didn’t.
Well, I did for a while. I sang in the university chorus, and I led worship at the Baptist Student Union. I played piano and sang in the choir at our church, occasionally even singing a solo when the choir director asked me to. One semester, I even scraped up money for piano lessons. The teacher was creepy, though, so I quit.
Since then, I’ve spent several years in my church choir, but I don’t do that anymore. Being a part of the choir at my old church was so much fun – and challenging at the same time, and it’s the reason we stayed at that church a year longer than we probably should have. I still miss it.
As for the piano, well, mine sits in our back room, unused and out of tune. On the occasion I sit down to play one of my old songs, my husband almost always remarks about how he loves it when I play.
What I’d whisper if I could is that I love it, too.
I miss making music. I miss it because it’s who I am – or who I was and who I want to be. I miss it because I never meant to let it go; it just slipped away. I miss it in a heart-aching kind of way that sneaks up and smacks me every once in a while. And when it does, it makes me sad.
My name is Mary, and I am musical. Somewhere, some part of me still is.
Are you musical? What’s something–a hobby, an interest, etc.–that makes you YOU?
Could you maybe take lessons with Annalynn’s teacher? It would be great for her to hear you practicing! And that would give you a reason to actually sit down and play. I find that if I don’t have a pressing reason to do it, so many other things get in the way.
I might. That’s what Mark has suggested a couple times. And YES to needing a pressing reason…sigh…!
I took piano for 6 years and won an award or too. I wish I wouldn’t have given up at least practicing.
You should totally take video of you playing piano. I would love to hear it.
Well, as a matter of fact… :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuqeWHj8bYo (I did this for a blog post a while back.)
There are a bunch of community theaters in Chattanooga and I am dying to try out for a musical and get my “fix.” Church choir is nice but ours is so casual it doesn’t really fulfill my musical needs. I totally get what you’re saying! I still tell my husband I want to learn to play French horn. He says no because it’s awful to listen to when you start out. But it’s a lifelong dream of mine.
Oooh, Jessie, you should do it!!! I would love to do community theater again. Maybe someday… :)