Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Piano Teacher~ Love. ~ and the blank white page

I used to sit here, fingers tapping on the keys with such regularity, spilling thoughts across the blank white space with only a corner of guilt residing in my brain. That corner was the busy spot, filled with ‘important things’ that needed my attention and the free-flowing of my personal ideas and feelings was unwelcome there; colored with self-indulgence when viewed from that daunting place. But the guilt corner was kept tightly contained by my rationalization that I had a right to connect with others through wordy essays and a duty to preserve our day to day story for my children. Oh, I ‘wasted’ many hours blogging and reading blogs of fellow writers under the guise of enriching my muse and making a contribution to the betterment of the world…at least within the blogosphere. I had readers. That was validation enough for me.

Somehow, over the last several years, my brain became slowly re-arranged. I felt the movement within, but did nothing to take command of the newly developing layout. The guilt corner became overcrowded with busy necessities and the retaining walls bulged and crumbled. My ‘real job’ became more demanding and my time tapping the keys needed to generate income. My children’s lives evolved. As they emerged from being completely mother-managed to places beyond the nest, I felt myself drawn into the wake of their journeys, maintaining my tether and more busy being their mother than ever before. The time reserved for thinking my own thoughts was replaced with college application deadlines, audition preparations, rehearsal schedules, homework help and car troubles. My need to connect through tapping keys and reading inspirational words still existed, but was reduced to checking emails and ‘sharing’ inspirational one-liners while scrolling through my Facebook news feed.

And then something happened.

I began to hear news of tragedy. People that I know, that my husband knows, diagnosed with terminal illness in the middle of their life’s story.

Right smack in the middle.

Right where I am now.

Feeling overwhelmed by these sad situations, I went to the center of my busy brain, no longer a guilt corner, but a full-blown stadium of ‘to dos’ and began spinning with all that had to ‘get done’ while I was still able. I felt the need to ‘take care of business’ and tie up loose ends, since one never knows when their own story will end and it felt more important than ever to set everything right; check off the nagging tasks on the ever-procrastinating lists.

I have been spinning for a while now.

I spent yesterday doing aerobic list checking. Puppy to the vet- check. Old dog nails trimmed-check. Dr. Appointments scheduled- check. Dentists, parking passes for college, register for college emergency alert system, talk to camp counselors regarding bus schedule and asthma inhaler, book hotel for overnight stay to move Trevor to college, call banks to find one in his college town, order prescriptions, check on financial aid, check dates for available phone upgrades…..check, check, check!  

I wrote new lists of things done and still to do and finally at the end of a productive day, took Cadence to her piano lesson.

Sandy is her piano teacher. She is an amazing teacher, amazing mother, an amazing musician and an amazing woman. She is also somehow a stress diffuser. I plopped down on her couch and she asked how our time schedule was, as she was in the middle of a moment in the previous lesson that she wanted to continue. Having nothing else pressing after the lesson, I said we were completely relaxed with our time and didn’t need to run out anywhere. I sat on the couch absorbing my surroundings; an eclectic swirl of creativity. Some photography in progress here, guitars there, piano books stacked high and sewing projects in the corner. Her family planned to leave the next day for a trip and yet, there was no sign of frazzled, frenzied preparation; hers is a busy home in balance. 

As I listened to the lesson wrapping up, I felt inspired by the student in front of me. She was a woman in her 40s at the beginner level of piano instruction. She had her 7 and 9 year old girls in tow; no less busy than the rest of us I am sure but finding…no, making the time to learn something new. Something that is not going to get things done or earn a living, but something that simply brings pleasure to her life.

The woman stayed with me off to the side of my busy brain all evening. She was there again this morning. With no assignments looming today, I began my usual ritual while the teenagers slept. Coffee on, dogs out, email checked, Facebook checked and then I looked at the clipboards, lists and piles that have become the new d├ęcor on my dining room table. I pushed them aside and headed to a place that I have not been in so very long. I opened my browser and sat still, trying to remember where I kept the bookmarks of my favorite writers. I attempted to log in, but was astonished that I did not remember my password. Finally, I went to the place that I go for inspiration. 

A blog site called: Love.
Carrie Wilson Blog  somehow always has the right words at the right time and there they were... "College Angst." Carrie's life is in no way less ‘busy’ and yet, she writes. She creates. She inspires.

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Open Microsoft Word
Hello blank white page. 

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