I opened the teach-yourself manual and it pointed me--after pages on fingers and their numbers, wrist placement, and posture and such--to middle C and then some other notes. I touched it and it made a sound, a good sound. I liked it, even though it filled me both with wonder and terror.
Certainly this is not yet rhythm and melody, but move we will. So I brought her home about two weeks ago and she fit at an inside wall, under Ben's portrait, with a couple of porcelain Hungarian peasants, drunk, on her top, next to gifted flowers. So I am pushing along, maybe an hour a day, and getting to know her, Evelyn, or Evie (because all good things have to have names). She is a console, not young, but in fine condition, a lovely thing actually, with simple and elegant lines, darker complexion. Simply beautiful, even graceful, and all her movements are primitive poetry, music, something like the soul's primary speech. She does not complicate anything. She sounds very good, seems to like me making noise, the only thing I am capable of yet. Eventually it will become moody food, maybe even poetry, that may push folks to dance. I'll work on it. She is a great good and a fine pleasure.
I confess to pangs of envy. But wish joy to you in your new pursuit!
Kate, thanks. Am having a very good time learning, very slow. I'm in no hurry. It is having exactly the effect I had hoped for, hobby, mind re-focused, therefore resting. Leisure and pleasure.
Vera is learning too!
Peter, thank you for responding.
Refocusing, resting, leisure and pleasure, those are enviable. Up to a year or so ago we had a big upright piano downstairs. I had bought it nearly twenty years ago, cheaply ($200 and free tuning) for a son who wanted to learn to play piano. Coincidentally, both sons who became Marines had lessons for some years and then gave it up. I always wanted the girl to learn, but she has never been interested (Lucky Ken Thomas!) in the least. I kept it hoping I could learn some day when I had time. I'd poke at it sometimes if no one else was home, pretending to myself that I was doing something nice.
After dusting it down for all of those years, when my son began renovations downstairs he asked if I would please get rid of it. It was an old eyesore. I didn't buy it for beauty, but it had good sound. It was what was inside that counted and made it lovely to me. I tried to find a good home for it, but no one wants old pianos like that anymore, even for free. You have to pay people to take them away. Once, someone saw it on Craigslist and said he wanted it. It took a son and a couple of his friends to haul it outside of the house, but the guy never came, or came when we weren't aware, saw the mass of it and balked. Then we had rain.
If it had been ugly before -- well -- my son and his friends took it apart, scavenging the parts they wanted for artsy things. They burned the rest of it out in the back field. Some of it is still rusting down by the garage. I try not to think about it, as with other things lost to me that make me sad. Sometimes, I irresistibly poke at what's left of it, thinking about what I wanted: pleasure, leisure, refocusing, and resting in the good sound.