Went to school this morning this my son who dutifully carried my bags for me. My job this morning was my rolly — or the black carryon I wedge everything else for school into.
As soon as we were in range of the wifi from our building, my Spotify went off from the laptop in my rolly.. Piano music I was listening to while writing last night began to play.
It started low along the sidewalk as we left behind the sounds of the parking lot — the steady lull of rolling wheels and humming motors, an ASMR-like mockery of the mechanical world as we soldier into the transcendent world of children, molding minds, shaping spirits.
I wasn’t sure what it was. My son and I just looked at each other as we walked along, the music clipping my heels. swirling around my legs. I felt like Cinderella in reverse.
“It’s my theme music.”
My music from last night.
I played it off and on throughout the day. It was when the children were out of my room that I could bear down, pull and feel deep, sigh and shed a tear for my Mom. It’s a welcome relief to the stony weight I’d been carrying these months.. to function. I don’t know if you’ve ever felt that.. when your soul is just waiting to burst, feelings and sense risen to the brim, the levy of your heart asking when it can give way.
That’s what this music is like for me.
I didn’t play piano for a long, long time. Mom and Dad bought me the piano when I was 10 and I had piano lessons for about a yaer or two, then just taught myself a little with sheet music. Then I grew up, got married, left for Austin.
One day we went to a friend’s house. He had a piano and I started tinkering. And playing music. Improv.
I went home to my parents’ house and did it again. Improv.
I didn’t know what it was, and I didn’t know I could play the piano this way. That had to have been 15+ years ago.
I hadn’t heard the echo of what I played all those years ago until I fished around for piano on Spotify and came across random piano tracks to make a playlist.
Now I have 3 lists I can listen to:
What I’ve been given is a forgotten layer of my life, of who I’d been, what had been erased.. and, yes, that had a lot to do with my parents and my relationships with my extended family. I’d packed that part of me for nearly 20 years. Since then, I can tell you I experienced a kind of tone-deafness, a drudgery to life. To live a life of enjoying music and then to have that fade from you.. I’m surprised it wasn’t traumatic for me. Maybe it was traumatic for me and won’t know the effects of piano absentia for years. I’ll know as I introduce it to my children.. who’ve grown up without hearing it floating through the house as I once dreamed of. I’d given it all up before, and this sound.. this sound comes back to my soul like a vengeance, a lover returning and overpowering his mate, an artist overwhelming his muse, a God uniting with a soul that belongs to him.
This is another part of me I didn’t know I had lost. .. and I feel empowered. Somewhere between the wrenching and the leaping of the soul.