Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve, My Piano

For me, the new year will arrive without fanfare or celebration. I had planned to go out with David and Thom, but as the day approached I felt more and more reluctant. Finally I excused myself by email and settled in to a guilty funk. I puttered around and accomplished nothing. I read passages from old journals and lamented the fact that I am no longer so introspective or articulate. I put the new purple bathroom rug I bought yesterday in place and was disappointed. The telephone battery I bought at the same time didn't fit the phone, I couldn't assemble the new flashlight.

On the bright side, I look forward to playing the piano as soon as I finish writing this. Just lately I have renewed interest in it. When I first sat down to it a few weeks ago, having abandoned it for several years, I was shocked at how little I remembered. I never was any good at it, despite trying most of my life. I set up a loose schedule of almost daily practice, followed it pretty much, and now have recovered the minimal skill I once had.

Despite striving for perfection in so many of my endeavors, I have accepted my failure to excel in this area. Even my recorder playing is less than stellar despite years of constant practice with Toni. I love music and can read it, but lack any acceptable technique, make mistake after mistake. Nevertheless, I put my heart and soul into my playing. I could be performing at Carnegie Hall. The sound coming out of the piano at the touch of my fingers on the keys thrills me. Enthusiasm makes up for my lack of expertise.

I have never played the piano in front of anybody else. I am so bad it would be humiliating. It is a private ecstasy with no need for outside affirmation, no need for approval or praise. I relish my time spent as a maker of music, putting it off as I might a delicious tidbit waiting in the refrigerator. I savor the anticipation, and it never disappoints me.

That is going to be my solitary way of bringing in another year. It's a fine way.
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