Happiness is (repost)
I lie on the couch listening to my husband of nearly three decades playing the guitar. I watch his fingers light upon the strings, his eyes closed, his face alive with emotions set free through each note. I fell in love with the music a long time ago.
I was so sad when it ceased. I had worried that childrearing, mortgage and bill paying, endless hours of money-earning and in-laws intruding had killed it.
Then, one day, my son started playing the guitar, picking up songs by ear that my husband had played once upon a time.
And then, my husband started teaching him. Their heads bent together, my son watching his father, my husband watching his son. No arguments or outbursts. No impatience or anger. Music filled my home once again and I watched as son and father found a new harmony together. My heart was full.
And then there’s the music.
I lie on the couch listening as he plays the same song over and over again, this man of mine. Milonga. A tango. My heart begins to melt filling my eyes with tears, as I hope we share this tango long after he plays the last note.
You know those thoughts in your head that you can’t verbalize? The ones that twist you’re tongue when asked: how do you feel about it?
Well, I do. I know all too well how deceitful and twisted thoughts can become. Most of the time I’m fine. Nothing drastic has happened upon me in some time; but maybe that’s the problem. I long for an explanation to my feelings; a canvas on which to draw. And yet I’m not artistic, at least not with a pencil.
But I found something. I found something that calms my mind and release emotions I can’t for the life of me grasp the meaning of. No, I’m not artistic with a pencil, but my hands are far from useless. They make music.
They sing and dance where I can’t. They draw pictures of rainy days and thunderstorms that cleanses my souls when yelling doesn’t work.
I play the Piano.
My hands trace love letters and create their own without guilt or heartache. They touch people's heart when words don't work and ease pain when sound is the only tolerable companion.
I play Piano.
An old instrument, but far from useless. Its my closest friend and deepest confident. We've endured a lot together throughout the years. It knows all my secrets and has endured all my pain. It gives me a peep talk when I feel down; and helps me to feel proud of myself. It's my biggest cheerleader and my loudest coach.
I play the Piano.
a starry-eyed girl
began the uphill climb
to learn, with her half-sized instrument in hand,
the impossible stance -
barely scraping the surface
of a craft so refined
like an infant falls countless times
before taking its first steps,
many times i fell and cried as well.
cramped fingers, arms and brain
through half-hour-long lessons
that felt like whole days
after years of frustration and determination
came the very first breakthrough,
though almost unnoticed:
out came a sound worth listening to.
i could finally make the piece of wood sing -
no longer a box, it was a violin.
from then on, i grew. a lot changes as time flies.
the more i learn, the more i realise
that i’m still that girl with stars in her eyes -
further than ever from completing the climb.
one step forward,
fall two steps back,
back to a child walking for the first time.
each practice, my playing confirms that i am
a stain on the fabric of the flawless craft
but i love it anyway -
perfection was never my goal.
im no virtuoso, but even so,
i’ve grown close to the fingerboard, chinrest and bow.
though making progress is painful and slow,
the violin and its quirks are what i call home.
Her fingers maneuver effortlessly along the ivory keys accompanied by the sweet voice that mothers tend to have.
I sit in awe, watching her fingers. I mimic the movements and it works. I can play but I understand not and in my lack of understanding, I forget the rhythm of the art.
His fingers strum the strings of the Spanish instrument. I can feel the music as I attempt to sing in line with musicians before me. If God bestowed upon me a talent of singing, I would never be quiet.
There she goes, along with him, playing the six-stringed instrument. They sing, what a lovely tune.
The musical parents play the recorder and the song they play is by my request. The Titanic theme echoes throughout the house and I try to keep my tears from falling.
Disaster shook and the music stopped.
Divorce can do that.
Add 10 years, and a faint song is heard. Sometimes it’s the guitar, other times the piano but funny enough, it is never the recorder.
And now I try to attain what should be mine. Strum, strum, strum… it most certainly has skipped a generation.
So I let words be my music and the pen my harp.