Leftovers – For this week’s writing challenge, shake the dust off something — a clothing item, a post draft, a toy — you haven’t touched in ages, but can’t bring yourself to throw away.
I started playing the piano when I was four and by the time I finished high school, I played pretty well. Well enough to impress a few people, mostly those who weren’t schooled in the finer points of classical music.
I followed through by majoring in music at college where I learned how deficient my music education had been. I had a lot of feeling for music and a deep, abiding love for it. What was missing was solid technique and high-end sight-reading skills. By the end of my sophomore year, it was obvious to everyone — especially me — that my future as a classical pianist would never happen. Being almost good enough in classical piano is not good enough. And so I moved on.
The grand piano my parents gave me was too big for the living room of our first house as well as for the much bigger second house. I gave it a bedroom in our first house, but had no place for it in the colonial we bought next.
I reluctantly sold my piano.
Life happened. I moved to Israel, lived there 9 years, moved back to the states. Moved seven more times in two years. Then, Garry and I married and settled down.
I missed having a piano. Whenever I was in a house with a piano, I would sit and play. Probably that’s why Garry bought me a beautiful electronic piano for my birthday 23 years ago. A tidy little instrument with a big sound and a full 88 key keyboard, it fits snugly under the dining room window and never needs tuning.
I have played it, forgotten it, then rediscovered it over and over during the decades since it became part of my life.
A couple of years ago, I began to practice again, only to discover that after just a few minutes, shooting pains made me stop. It was arthritis in my hands. I have arthritis almost everywhere and it had gotten worse. Gotten so severe I wouldn’t be able to play unless I had surgery to remove some of the calcification. But other stuff got in the way of getting my hands fixed. The surgery never happened.
The piano lives in front of the dining room window. It needs a more thorough cleaning thank I’ve been able to give it. Sometimes, I swear, I hear it softly calling me. I feel guilty when I look at it. It deserves better than to sit alone gathering dust.
I could sell it, I suppose. But many generations of electronic instruments have come and gone. By modern standards, the piano is almost antique. I don’t think it would be worth much on the market. In any case, why should I sell it when it’s so easy to keep?
If I sold it, I’d never own another. Though I don’t play now, maybe I’ll get my hands fixed one of these days. Then I could play again and my piano will be waiting under the window, bright with sunshine.
You never know. Sometimes life surprises you.