Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Music to my ears
20 years ago, my precious Aunty Pat died of cancer far too young. I was in Grade 12 and and deeply sad. They had four boys and I fancied myself as a daughter to her, someone who would talk about fabrics and sewing and clothes. She would pass her old patterns on to me.
I don't know how it came about really, but Uncle John said I could have her piano. The piano was the first thing you saw as you came into their house. It has ivory keys, though some of the tops have been prised off and on the middle octave the notes are written in black marker.
It must have been some years later because I had a house of my own to bring it to. I learnt the basics of scales and some simple tunes with my grandma when I was young but never had another lesson. Hopes of getting further along with my playing never materialised into lessons or the magical and late ability to play-by-ear so it just sat there.
Many, many years later and I finally realised there was never going to be room 'upstairs', never going to be the money for repairs and tuning and lessons and no time like now for letting it go.
The piano went solidly and gracefully out into the sunlight and across the way to my brother's house. There are fingers there that know the ways of notes that dance and treble across the page in sharp leaps and minor pauses.
The piano is my favourite instrument, but it has to be played.