I bought a piano.
My own real, live piano, with perfect keys that are heavy and smooth under my fingers.
I love it.
I’m not a talented musician (see my brother for that). I. But since I was nine, this instrument has been a refuge for me and whatever hurricane of feeling I’m dealing with at the moment – stress, anger, sadness, joy – it has room for all of them.
For someone who spends a lot of my life trying to find the right words, it’s an enormous relief to just sit down and emote without language. When I feel like the world is closing in around me, the piano bench is like this safe pocket of space, a kind of bunker where I can shelter for a while.
And for me, the piano is also about love.
I already loved music, but she taught me how to channel it. Not through all the theory exercises and classical pieces – though those were a part of it – but through her own passion for playing. One night when I was ten, she was trying to teach me to play a waltz– “it says legato, smoothly”–and it just wasn’t getting through to me. She finally said, “Anna, this is a waltz. The men are in top hats. The women are in lovely dresses. But the way you are playing it, they are also wearing lumberjack boots.” I thought this was hilarious. And suddenly I understood what it meant to not just play the notes, but to feel them.