This morning around 8:15, I had my eyes dilated when I went to my annual eye exam. I had planned on learning photo editing software for some images in my books when I returned but neglected to realize that my eyes would stay dilated so long. I think I still have about two more hours. It’s much better, but bright lights still bother me.
I finished a program on TV while eating lunch and then thought of my dear mother. She passed away two weeks shy of her 97th birthday in 2017. “What should I do?” I ask her.
“Play your song,” she says to me through a thought voice.
I’ve been practicing a song on my mother’s piano called Eclipse off and on for months. My dear friend and art student Miki V. and I heard it on a music station one day in art class and I said to her, “This reminds me of my mother.”
“I was thinking the same thing,” said Miki.
One day when I listened to Eclipse again, I decided to search for the sheet music online and then purchased it.
My mother was a prodigy pianist. Having had only four summers of piano lessons starting at age nine, she could play all the greats; Chopin, Beethoven, etc. She outgrew a teacher each summer because she knew everything they did. The last teacher in the fourth summer said she could be a concert pianist. However she placed more importance in her adult life on career and then family and never continued lessons. Despite that, everyone loved listening to her play. She played quite often for her own pleasure and I always smiled and shook my head when she would sometimes say, “Oh, shoot!” if she made a mistake.
Although I am gifted with drawing, painting and teaching art, I am not a prodigy pianist. I have to learn slowly and memorize. Fortunately, this sheet music is not too difficult, but it does challenge me.
As I sit down to play and think of her, she says, “Play from your heart.” I smile and begin to play. Even though I fumble, I do as she says and immediately feel my heart open, radiating out love. As I continue to play my mother’s presence fills my heart. She is letting me know she is here.
I realize why everyone loved to listen to her play. She wasn’t perfect, she made mistakes, but she always played from her heart and her heart filled the room.
I am tearful, happy at the same time and miss her so much.
I look up at the photograph of her on the piano and she says, “I will always be with you.”
Even though it’s not the same since she has passed on, I realize that when I play the piano from my heart, I will always feel her with me.