There might be too much on my mind to write a coherent post. Besides, we're leaving for Florida in an hour or two, and the idea of packing seems overwhelming right now. Instead, I thought I'd pass on this short passage from Famous Builder. It takes place in my musician days, in the wake of a huge disappointment in the recording studio. I must have been twenty here.
Thanks, once again, to everyone for the good wishes.
from Famous Builder
One day, on her way out the door to Clover, my mother buttons her wool, gray-green coat and stops by the piano. I dust the lower rungs of the love seat across the room. She stretches her hand across the keyboard and tentatively plays a note. Then plays it again, more crisply this time. Middle C: sturdy meridian. Its coherence and elemental optimism reverberate through the room. It mocks whatever it is I'm feeling. "Would you like to go to the store?"
I stand and stretch my arms with an involuntary squeal. "I'm going outside to weed."
"It's the dead of winter."
"There's weeds out by the Lennoxes. I noticed them last night."
She presses her finger to the key again. "You haven't played the piano in two weeks."
I spot a single spruce needle on the carpet. I lean over, pinch it between my fingernails, and drop it into my pocket. "I'm just taking a break."
She turns her back to me and plays. "What note is this?"
"This was my mother's piano."
And although her eyes are glossed with the slightest sheen of tears, she smiles, as if my ability to name random notes on the piano gives her the answer to what she's looking for.