Aug. 29, 2015



"Gene, stop, there is a piano and it says "Free". In a lawn, in front of a house, on a carved-out lot in the middle of a farm field, sat a tractor hitched to a flat trailer with a piano marked "FREE". Turning the car around, my husband rolled his eyes at me as he pulled into the driveway and I opened my door and walked to the piano. I lifted the lid under the straps and began hitting the keys. One key stuck but the tones were sweet. "Can I?," I asked my voice of reason life partner. "You know it is going in the wrong direction. You just said your next step is to get rid of things," he replied. "I know," I whispered.

But we took the next step. "Ding dong," the doorbell chimed as I pressed it. "Can you tell me about the piano?" The piano was twelve years old, purchased by the woman, and she and her children had no desire to play anymore. Arrangements were made. The tractor would deliver the piano later that afternoon to my house. "Was this a mistake? an impulse? a decision to numb the pain of transition instead of confront it?" My mind whirled. "If you really think this is a terrible decision, we can go back right now and tell them," I sobbed to my husband.

I had just made a life altering decision which placed me in transition. Transition. A term used to describe the most painful, last stage of labor in birth. A term used to illicit nightmares.
Overwhelmed. Increased heart rate at random moments. Sleepless. Afraid. Afraid of what? Grief and the dark current that drew me under not allowing me to breathe. Failure and the headlines it shouted - NO VALUE! NO PURPOSE! NO CONFIDENCE! Hopelessness - no dreams, no vision just suffocating thought prison. Incompetent at life! These thoughts pierced my consciousness just regularly enough to terrorize. This transition involved a death of something but would it also involve a birth?

I had just made a decision to end something with no idea what the next step was except generic platitudes. "Be still. Express/ create. Heal. Get rid of stuff. Walk in the unforced rhythms of grace"

The piano has a new home in my house. A simple new melody comes each day as I touch the keys. Nothing fancy or stage ready but tune enough to clear the air, displace the fear long enough to feel - the joy of expression. The piano takes up space in my house but the melodies we make together are clearing the path. for the next step. Simple notes displace the overwhelming fog of grief. Together we lighten the load of house and mind expressing my honest heart. Step by step, a song is made and its theme is Love.