Monday, August 4, 2008

And then I play

The piano, that is. It's just what I do. I've been playing since I was a first grader. I'm not sure if there is some level of playing that you get to that automatically qualifies you as a musician, or if it's just how the music takes over that brands you with that title. I don't know when I became a musician, but I can remember that as early as 3rd grade, or maybe it was 4th, playing became a way of expression. Something I'm not sure I could have lived without. I remember that distinct time because my uncle had died. One with 3 small children. As his casket was being lowered, I'll never forget as one of his daughters began to cry and yell for them not to do that to her daddy. She didn't understand. In her little mind, being put into the ground beneath her meant her daddy wasn't going to heaven, but into a place she feared greatly.

That evening, I got lost in my music. Maybe that wasn't really the first time. And maybe it was a process that had begun much earlier. But it's the first time I distinctly remember my own music being the source of comfort; and somehow the music was no longer something I played, but something that played me. It took over. Poured into me and out of me from the depths of my soul.

Since then, I've spent countless hours with my fingers playing across ivory and black keys. I play other instruments, as well. Even as I was carrying my biological children their ears heard endless playing. With my first, I was still serving in a military band as a french horn player, and her ears were exposed to hours upon hours or rehearsals and concerts before she was even born. Each biological child does seem to have their favorites, as far as pieces or composers, but for the most part they don't pay much attention to my playing. It's just as much a part of life as my washing the dishes. Just another thing moms do.

My born of the heart children were not exposed to such, though, and upon their arrival to our home they had no idea what their ears would have to endure. Although I'd like to think that's not how they view it. And I'm pretty sure it's not. Even children just visiting my home I often catch standing and staring and listening as I play. I'm not trying to say that when I play, my magical music captures any listening ears. I'd like to think I'm that good, but the truth is music just has that ability. But for them, my playing is not something to be ignored. Little hands and feet that usually can't sit still long, suddenly sit completely still for an extended period of time. Especially if I put them in my lap and play something like this (hang in there past the first part, my favorite is in the middle after the change of tempo). Blessing has been with us for over a year now, and it hasn't worn off, yet. She likes it when one hand crosses over the other. When she "plays", that's how she does it.

And so it is with my life. Anger? And then I play. Joy? And then I play. Frustration? And then I play. Deep grief? And then I play. Fear? And then I play. Intimacy with my creator? And then I play. It's just what I do.

So, what do you do?

7 comments:

hsmomma5 said...

Oh, how I would love to be able to play the piano...

I do sing though and I always have a song in my heart and head. I am a thinker and I tend to sit sometimes and just 'think' on things....sometimes good--sometimes not so good, but it is what I do.

The Source said...

That's wonderful. I think our souls are wired to react to music. Do any of your children play? One of my twins takes piano lessons and seems to have the inborn ability that my grandmother had...and she could play ANYTHING. I hope he'll stick with it as he gets older.

The Source said...

Me again...just read your comment about the Cinderella pageant. I have to say, I have never run into another Cinderella Girl...although it's not really something that pops up in casual conversation. :) I think the judges probably felt some sympathy for my 5 yr old self, too. Forced to tap dance to Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini. Ugh!

chickadee said...

i write, but you make playing sound so much better.

Annie said...

I sing loud, it is probably only joyful to God, but I do it. It really annoyed my ex-husband who was musically trained. Oh well. That and explaining complicated legal and insurance matters who don't speak it natively. My hubby says it's my true calling, but give me a legal matter, the state and internet access and I will put it into english.

www.fabuluxephotos.com said...

I can't play piano :( but I sing

Blake said...

Next time you get the urge to play, call me...I'd like to come listen and relax with the girls! lol