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August 30, 2004

Back to Life

Except among those who are wealthy enough to make of life a whim, pianos are a sign of stability and long intentions. Young singles or young couples who are likely to move every year or so as circumstances require are well advised to avoid having to lug the things around — searching for specially licensed movers and such. Among older families, whom time has worn, the piano sits in a corner of the living room, furniture rather than an instrument, and often the scratches of children long grown and disrepair begin to show.

Well, after a decade of separation, my piano has found its way into my home again. Considering the likelihood that, having purchased our house, we'll stay here a while, my parents thought it worth the expense to forward. Three movers hauled it in, strained exertion after a five-hour drive, and now the gap in the living room has been filled. There's something about a home — or any building — without a piano. Maybe it's a lack of ballast.

Our two-and-a-half year old has already begun the habit of practicing (I suppose it could be called) for about a half-hour each day, although she gathers the minutes from between play and meals and television shows. Her rendition of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" isn't quite harmonious, but in her case, it's the voice that endears. For melody, I taught her how to hit one note at a time; she doesn't seem concerned about which one or what order. But music has entered her life as a thing of stability, of a long view, even if only in the background.

Also this weekend, I took a last-minute opening at the school attached to my church, holding the seat of the seventh grade teacher. Young as she is, she'll be spending the better part of the next year battling illness. Keeping that as a reminder will surely aide in perseverance while battling any children's reluctance to learn. Hopefully, I won't find my prayers for her recovery tainted by self-interest, as facilitating escape.

Nonetheless, even with circumstances' dark tint, it's a hopeful thought that, for the first time, I'll be able to support my family. Call it sexist, if you must, but there's something about a man who can't do so (or couldn't, if required) that isn't unlike a house without a piano. Many fine and admirable homes lack pianos. But I'm glad that mine is no longer one.

Posted by Justin Katz at August 30, 2004 7:56 AM
Diary & Confession

Glad to hear this. Good luck!

Posted by: ELC at August 30, 2004 1:11 PM

Those are some very lucky seventh graders. I hope they appreciate what they are getting (if not now, hopefully later down the road).

Posted by: c matt at August 31, 2004 7:00 PM

Glad to hear things are back on track (or at least heading that way). My wife was very sad when her parents sold her piano so I can relate to your happiness on having yours back.

Posted by: Kevin Holtsberry at September 1, 2004 10:24 AM