So I went to the church, met centenarian "Henry," and said, "Yes, I'll take him."
We had him moved to my house. A few months later, we had him tuned. Between moving and tuning, I probably paid a good $1,000, but ... for a beautiful grand piano? Not a bad deal.
|He's since been moved to another room, not right in front of a window.|
That move--from one room to another--was $260.
I am in love with Henry. I know he's no Steinway, and no Bösendorfer (which, if I had my druthers ...), but he's mine. He has ivory keys, and I am now in love with ivory keys. I am so happy to have this piano. So happy. I can't even begin to describe it.
But ... so many times a day, I walk right past the music room. I'm too busy with work, huswifery, motherhood, and the rest. If I do go into the music room, it's to practice voice. (Yes, I'm still taking voice. And I can now (mostly) carry a tune, thankyouverymuch.)
I decided that that had to stop. I have a grand piano, for heaven's sakes. I am not going to spend my life walking past a grand piano on the way to pick up dirty socks and throw them in the laundry.
So I've started playing more. I'm picking up the pieces--pieces of my old life, pieces of my old poetic, creative self that too-often gets buried in day-to-day responsibilities. And I'm picking up old pieces--the Bb-minor nocturne, the C#-major prelude and fugue, the old G-minor invention that I love so much. My beloved Ständchen. And some much-older pieces: the Fantasie Impromptu. The Brahms waltz that everyone learns in middle school. The Eb-major nocturne. Old stuff.
As I pick up these old pieces of my life, I have this sense of nostalgia that is both delicious and a little sad. There was a path for me, the path of a professional pianist, a path I could have taken but chose not to take. And the price is that I'm now a middle-aged tech writer with occasional but intense yearnings for a musical life, and with hopes that that musical life is somehow still attainable. It can be a lonely existence, where your best friends are a handful of long-dead composers and a very heavy hunk of wood, strings, and ivory.
But there's still hope. I still love music as much as I ever did, and by some miracle, I can still play these pieces from so long ago, albeit not as well as I once did. I'm going to sign up for piano lessons if I can (meaning, if the piano teacher I want has any slots available for the fall). I'm going to work at this again. Life will (I hope) be somewhat stable for the next ten or so years. And I want piano to play a part in it.
So I've changed the name of this blog to "Picking Up the Pieces." In it, I'll write my progress as I re-learn old pieces, work on new pieces, and generally become re-acquainted with the piano. If you feel compelled to leave comments, please do so--it's nice to know that other people are sharing the journey.