Wednesday, August 4

The eighty-eight (although I'm only familiar with about twenty)

There are several things occupying my thoughts at the moment that I'm not at liberty to write about. One of the pitfalls of a non-anonymous blog.

I've always been a sensitive person. I rarely, if ever, was spanked as a child because all my parents had to do was express disappointment and I'd fall apart. Except for that one time as a teen I sassed my mom and she slapped me. That time, we both cried. But since The Big Changes Incited by Motherhood, I think I've become even more empathetic, probably to a fault. I have trouble letting go things that don't belong to me in the first place.

Yesterday, after learning some sad news about a friend, I was tempted to pull a Bridget Jones (eating sweets, crying, singing Celine Dion into a hairbrush), but I went a different route: I played the piano.

"What?!" you must be thinking. "What about the bass guitar Noah bought you?" Yes, well. A while back Noah sat me down to inform me that there would be a change in our band. I would no longer be playing bass. I asked him if they had voted behind my back, but apparently it was a decision Noah made on his own. The good news was, I wasn't being kicked out. He couldn't really kick me out anyway, since our band's other two members have never shown up to practice (and the drummer still doesn't have any drums). Instead, I'd be the keyboardist.

I gave up learning the bass line for "Fix You" and started translating the guitar tablature into piano sheet music. Which might have been one of the absolute best ways to solidly learn the relationship between the piano keys and the notes on the page. For the past two weeks, I've been learning "Fix You" on the piano, which gets me one step closer to my goal of learning at least three songs by heart before next August.

And that about brings us up to yesterday.

Whereas before I would have wallowed (food-and-film binge included) in grief, I felt a new compulsion: The urge to play. I sat down at our dusty, 60s-era upright and made music with the slightly-out-of-tune keys. And I felt better.

*     *     *

More than ever, I'm grateful for my Internet pals. You all are fantastic folks. And the longer I've blogged, the more I've learned about you. Sal, for instance, is apparently a great singer in addition to having an eye for fashion and a heart for positive body image. Dan is a mediocre-at-best but certainly enthusiastic ukulele player; oh, an he organized an enormous, internationally attended charitable walk across England that raised many thousands of dollars for grieving families. Alison is the co-author of several books and is just generally awesome and could possibly be my sister aside from the thing about us having different parents. Sarah is an ESL teacher and a world-traveling ray of optimism. Kate keeps up a wildly popular decorating blog and a law practice, but still pops over to read and egg me on in my ramblings. Swistle mothers an impressive number of children while maintaining a side-splitting wit. Stephanie runs her own small press in Alaska, handmaking books and everything. Costume Diva, who happens to be a hometown girl and Noah's sixth-grade girlfriend, lives in New York and works as a costumer for stage shows.

Please forgive me if I haven't mentioned you, YES YOU, I'm looking right at you. There are too many of you to mention all at once.

Oh great. Now I'm getting that sappy feeling again. Off to the piano I go.


Kate said...

Just stay out of the higher octaves. They can get rather shrill if you're in the right (wrong) kind of mood.

Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

I was just thinking the other day about how I wished so hard that we could hang out in person. Thanks a lot for making me miss you even more. If you can miss someone you've never met ...

Music has a very special catharsis, and it's a valuable tool to have around when you're feeling helplessly blue.

Big hugs, E. Oh and I know JUST what you mean about the parental disappointment. One stern phrase and I'd bawl.

Dan said...



Costume Diva said...

So greatful for you, too! Im a Sally Sensitive also, so this post almost made me misty eyed.

Locusts and Wild Honey said...

Aw! I'm sorry you're having a tough week BUT LET'S TOTALLY BECOME BLOOD SISTERS!!!

You cut your hand first...

Go on!

I swear I will too.

mrs. fuzz said...

Even though I have no idea what is making you want to pull a Bridget Jones, I still love this post. Buck up little Camper! (Better off Dead movie quote)

Slamdunk said...

I hope playing piano does the trick for you.

Sarah Von Bargen said...

The feeling is very, very mutual, friend. <3

stephanie said...

erin - you made my day! and my jaw dropped open when i saw my name on that list :) and i'm thankful to call you my friend.

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