Playing the Piano in a Hostile World

playing the piano
Image credit: wikimedia commons

My fingers were stomping, almost perpendicularly, on the piano keys, nails cut shortest so I can reach the optimum intensity of the sound. I was practicing on a section which required extended flexibility of the bridge between my left ring and middle fingers. The sound was furiously hitting the washed-out-yellow walls, then rushing back straight to my focused ears.

The front part of the shiny black piano was showing a mere sketch of my portrait. I could only glimpse my tense wrists, and my beamy eyes, spotting a thick frown between them. All of a sudden, I was 6 all over again.

Around that young age, after having instilled in me the wish to play the piano, my father signed me up for lessons. A couple of weeks into the piano classes, I heard a rumor on the center’s waiting hall that the severe teacher would hit you over the fingers with a twig if you’d play a wrong note. Suddenly, my blossoming dream had been abruptly cut short, as I was too scared to put my 6-year-old fingers at the mercy of that thin-wood punishment twig.

A couple of decades later I was still saying “I’ve always wanted to play the piano…” and still not doing anything about it.

But one cold November evening, when everything in the outside world seemed hostile and my soul had been living on leftovers, I took a leap and dared to dream again. Life had thrown me into this new city, far away from my world, and had crushed all my thin castles in the air. I was left skinned down, in the middle of a rainy street, to figure it all out. The clouds didn’t last for too long though, and soon the rainbow breezed in. I started to shine and realized I needed to find a creative expression in order to live again. I took up piano classes not daring to think I’d ever delight my friends with it, but simply to grant the kid in me the dream she’s always had. There was no fear of failure, as I was only doing this for myself anyway. I guess, in the end, it was ok to lose myself on the intricate road, only for a chance to be found again, with stronger will to reach my dreams.

So, that cold November evening I simply picked up the phone and dialed that piano-lessons-ad number, feeling my pulsating mindfulness as I was literally hitting the first note towards fulfilling a long-lost dream.

Just like that, in a matter of minutes, I went from an emotionally-sedated girl to an excited apprentice having her first piano class the following Tuesday, at 7pm.

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3 comments

  1. Nice post – Been playing piano and keyboards for over 50 years and it still gives me an enormous buzz every time my fingers touch the keys. If not played for a while once I start rippling through the runs I simple sit for hours, lost in and caught up in my music. It’s a great thing – jazz piano, classics – I love them both.

    • Haven’t played it not nearly for as long as you have, merely “played with it” a bit, but I can totally relate to your feelings when you get close to it. This instrument has something special, magical, doesn’t it?!

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