Today is the New Moon.
A few days ago, my healer’s string bracelet from Bali fell off.
Then this morning I realised it’s a New Moon so I decided to smudge my home.
I’m not interested in rules, so I didn’t follow the home smudging guidelines of some witch in Utah. I wandered around the house, trying not to choke, every window open despite the frosty morning, and thanked whatever was in the house for its service, but unless it is here for the good of my family, friends, my home, my creativity, my soul, my pets, and me, it is time for it to leave.
I’m smiling and feel that it was right. It didn’t feel forced, as though I’m trying to conjure up some pagan ritual. I spoke from a place of memory, from a lack of fear, from a moving towards the new.
And that’s why the piano has to go.
I started high school when I was ten. Yep, you read that right. Ten. In primary school, I learned to play the organ and recorder, like a lot of kids at Catholic schools did, but not with any level of seriousness. I mean, nobody really wanted to learn the organ. When I got to high school, I started to learn the piano. It was everything I wanted. A dream. I took music theory for two years and went to piano lessons for a while every Saturday. Another girl was at Saturday piano class with me. Barbara. Barbara was a legend. She had a piano at home and got to practice whenever she wanted. My parents wanted a formal, wog loungeroom, so there was no space for a piano, even when they were offered one for free. A formal loungeroom that never gets used is far more important to a wog family than a piano.
By the time I was in my second year of music theory, I was great at reading and writing musical notes, but super shit at actually playing them, so I gave up. For almost 40 years, I have blamed my parents for not giving me a piano. It’s been their fault that I didn’t join a band, that I didn’t have any real musical skill. If only they had got me that piano, I would have practiced and become a fucking virtuoso.
Then one day, around five years ago, Jeff and I were coming home from a country drive and stopped into the big Vinnies on Ballarat Road. We both saw it. We both knew it. This beautiful old piano sang out to us, to me (Jeff had a piano growing up. He had good parents.)
We got it home within the day and I admired it. We had it tuned. Had some pads replaced. Everything about it was beautiful, including the solid steel interior with embossing and other parts I don’t know about.
And it sat there.
Around a year and a half ago I decided it was time to take lessons so I found a local teacher who was patient with me. She understood that I had a good feeling for music, I could play by ear, knew how to read music (kinda), but I didn’t remember anything about the actual keys other than where to find Middle C. I was a theorist, remember, the scientist of the piano. I practiced my lessons. Enjoyed the music I was given to play – not just boring classical, but some classics.
After a couple of months though, I stopped going. Got too busy, too annoyed at my slow pace, excuses excuses and whatever. I just stopped practicing and going.
We moved the piano to our new house last year. I figured a new space would change everything. And for the past year and a half, the piano has sat there, a repository for my memories, unplayed. The biggest dust collector in the house that I sit all my candles on as they set.
I listed it for sale recently, on a few Facebook groups, and I’ve had some bites, but nobody really that interested, and I haven’t been that serious about letting it go, either. And then I was having my ears candled on Monday and had a chat to Rosa, who is also a kinesiologist, and she helped me realise why I’m struggling to get rid of the piano.
If I get rid of the piano, I am letting go of a dream that I’ve carried for 40 years. The dream of – if only I had a piano to practice on, I would have been a musician, joined a band, been so cool and talented. If only my parents hadn’t wanted their unused wog loungeroom over a piano, I would have been a different person. Better. More creative. Interesting. If I get rid of this piano, I have to admit that it was not their fault because now, at fifty, I’m fully responsible for learning, practicing. Or not.
And the piano knows it. It sit there, a literal dead weight, mocking me. Daring me to play, or not.
I love music. I think musicians are the light in our world. They are the most creative. They share their souls, which are our collective souls. I wanted my whole life to be the person that other people look up to and say “wow, she gets me, her music is the sound of my soul.” But that’s not me anymore. And the piano knows it. I know it.
That’s why I’m giving away my piano for free. I might regret it. But as Rosa the kinesiologist said, I’m privileged, so if in the future I decide I want to learn to play piano again, I can afford to buy one.
And anyway, I can probably get one for free. There are plenty more people giving away their dreams on Facebook for free, too.
So with my string bracelet from Bali gone (which means I’ve ended the cycle I was in and whatever I was looking for has come to fruition), and the piano dream gone, I wonder who I will become?
In the meantime, these are two of my favourite songs featuring lovely piano melodies. Even as I listen to these songs, my heart is tugging at me. You could just go in there and play it, Jo… It’s not too late…