Monday, August 22, 2011
"Do you still play?"
Representative Jean Schmidt--yes, that one--was a guest at my grandmother's 90th birthday party last week. She and her twin sister, Jennifer. Both asked me (not having seen me in more than seventeen years) if I still played piano: "You were so talented," they said.
I replied that I no longer played. After my accident, which seemed to erase the previous years of study, I never took piano as seriously. I still tinkered; I took a couple semesters of lessons in college; I played from the Reader's Digest Book of Christmas songs each December. But I never pushed myself to excel and get better like I had as a child.
A strange thing happened since my conversation with the twins: I got a new keyboard! It's a Yamaha, has 88 weighted keys, has a bunch of different voices and features that I don't understand. It is wonderful, and I love it. My boyfriend bought it as a combination birthday/Christmas/futurebirthday/futureChristmas present.
In addition to teaching him how to play (he plays guitar and played trumpet and other brass instruments in high school), I am pulling out my old sheet music. From Bach and Chopin to Carole King and Coldplay, I've spent hours at the keyboard since it arrived on Thursday.
Next time I see the Congresswoman, either at a protest at her office or my grandma's 100th birthday party, I can say, truthfully and happily, "Yes! I still play!"