my piano

September 19, 2009

Jim went to the studio last night, so I had some time to mess around with Dear Prudence on the piano. He works at home so often now, that I hardly ever get a chance to play. I play the piano at my folks house when I visit. My dad likes it. It makes him cry. He has no idea who I am, but he walks over to me and puts his hands on my shoulders and kisses the back of my head. Then he sits down and cries. My mom bought this piano when I was 15 so I could have a proper piano to take lessons on. Then I quit my lessons and she’s never forgiven me. I am the only person in the family that ever plays this piano. She’s threatened to give it away to my sister. Linda can have it. Everyone should have a piano in their house. But if she does take it – she needs to remember that it’s still my piano.


4 Responses to “my piano”

  1. Judy Says:

    Loved the personal excerpt re: your dad…the “piano” as icon/territory. LOVED your voice..the mixing was fab…….although DID notice that just “MAYBE”…the piano could use a tune up….especially in the first portion. LOVE YOU!! JUDY

    • dmiovan Says:

      Yes. It’s been a while since it’s been tuned, but I’ve been told by some others that they like the tension it causes.

  2. Lisa Gallagher Says:

    Just reading that and thinking about your parents. Give your mom a big hug and hello from me. I am keeping your dad in my thoughts and prayers…

    Love ya
    (ps the book is going really good – I will be sending something to you in about a month!)

  3. jennybarbour Says:

    🙂 i remember my grandfather in the nursing home one day when some kind or paid soul had come in and was playing piano. an old woman nearly sheer and light as a veil, moved behind him, stayed and stood there behind him and his head of white white hair.

    she slowly began to run her fingers through his hair, who knows what he thought or how, or what and how she ran her mind around those moments. but while the piano played, they both were smiling and swaying. it was sweet.

    i was with my aunt, my father’s sister, they hadn’t spoken for years, and whispered to her: he would never have let anyone play with his hair like that before… i was smiling and swaying too.

    it was just the moment that it was. and there we all were alive for a time, by a piano with a player. my aunt didn’t tolerate my ability to be serene with them, or seeing him so altered and she snipped something short, turned to leave and that was that.

    years later in his nursing home, my father lay post stroke unable to speak. a family conflict resulted in restrictions so that i could not even ask the nurse to give him a tylenol. he was dying and i had nothing to give him. so i lay my head on his chest, to hide my weeping. and his hands seemed to fall on my head, until i realized that as much as he could intentionally touch me with his trembling hands, he was.

    in a light but gravity driven touch, he was comforting me, which i hoped comforted him. his fingers ran through my hair and found my ear. he traced around it like a found sea shell on a beach.

    and i was at once, myself, my father, my grandfather, the three of us battling it out with an angry and unkind relative who didn’t see what simple comforts could be…

    to your piano story…

    the best part of a gift cannot be taken back ever. peaceful heart.

    and i love your dear prudence. aptly named…

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