When I was young I took piano lessons when I wasn’t playing some sort of sport or being a drama queen (in school plays…mostly). I didn’t excel because when I wasn’t taking lessons I hardly practiced. What was the point, really? I didn’t have a teacher to impress and therefore, didn’t try.
One of my piano teachers would have all her students do recitals at local nursing homes. The residents loved it and didn’t care a bit whether they heard a concerto or the plink-plink-plink of a 4 year old.
One Christmas we held our recital as usual and I was eagerly waiting my turn. I was playing the song “Do You Hear What I Hear?” and was anxious to begin. If you’ve ever sat through an intermediate piano recital you may recall how excruciating these types of things are. Young children play terrible songs terribly, there is polite applause afterward, and the next one slides onto the bench. But I was going to be different.
I knew my song inside and out. I almost didn’t bring the sheet music because I wanted to impress everyone with my memorization skills. I was going to bring tears to the eyes of my geriatric listeners. When had they ever heard such beautiful Christmas music?
Finally, it was my turn. I slid onto the bench. Slowly opened my book. Adjusted the bench. Got my feet ready on the pedals. I imagined the suspense that was building. They all must have been leaning forward in their chairs waiting for me to begin. I started to play.
After the second line my fingers fumbled. I took my eyes off the music to figure out why I wasn’t hitting the right notes. When I looked back to the music I had no idea where I was. I didn’t even recognize the song. I looked back at my hands and I kid you not, it felt like I had never sat before a piano before in my life. I didn’t know the difference between middle C and F#. I tried to play. It was awful. It was embarrassing. I managed to fumble my way through the rest of the song, hitting more wrong notes than right ones. Something that I had done dozens of times before slipped out of my brain.
The past 3 weeks have been like that night. I have sat in front of my computer trying to write. I look at my hands and I don’t know how to make words come from them. I try to form a coherent sentence and come up with gibberish. Lajfs al;;oit jatlsafd te;leotiwheo stekhwoihw I couldn’t even write a readable grocery list.
It’s been painful. I love to write. It’s how I process things. It’s how I communicate my emotions. I’ve been feeling all stopped up. I have no point to this except that I think I’m coming out of it. I was able to write this rambling stream of ridiculousness. That’s something at least. I’m back, I just can’t promise anything amazing is back with me.
If you’re one of my faithful readers (hi Mom!) thanks for sticking with me. I only keep publishing on this silly thing because so many people have told me they enjoy it. Keep reading. I’ll keep writing.