by Deena Remiel
When I was a child, I loved Show and Tell Day at school. I spent a lot of time and energy picking out exactly what I wanted to share and thinking about what I’d say. So here I am, 35 or so years later, doing Show and Tell! I’m so excited, but I can tell you right now, this time, it’s not child’s play. Today I’m showing you a piano, and I’ve got a lot to tell.
I have fond memories of my Gulbransen piano. When I was quite small, I’d say five or six, I remember going over to my grandparents’ house and banging on the piano with my sister. We called the ear-splitting performances our duets. We made such a racket; I couldn’t believe they didn’t stop us! It’s funny how I can recall it being in their home, yet I can’t recall when the piano moved to our place. It has been in my possession ever since. Except for college, it has been with me. When house hunting it always comes into consideration. “Where will the piano go?” It’s the very next question after, “Will the sofa fit?”
Way, way back, my mother decided if it was going to be in our house, we should all take lessons. My mother, sister, and I all started lessons at the same time, however, my sister developed tendonitis, and my mother was too busy to keep it up. I, on the other hand, had plenty of time and desire. You see, I was a child plagued by asthma, and at that time, there weren’t any good medications to help. So I couldn’t run around a lot like most kids. The piano was a wonderful outlet for me and I enjoyed playing beautiful music. I recall playing a song at school during an assembly one year. The years spent learning the basics from my piano teacher, Mrs. Sherow, led to writing original music as I got older.
A teenager loaded with angst and a piano. A match made in heaven. I began writing lyrics and music to quiet my troubled thoughts. I still have those songs tucked neatly away and every now and again I take them out, read them, and laugh. They tell of unrequited love, skewed perceptions, friendships gained and lost, and commentary on the world. Not much different from what I write today, actually. Back then though, there was no hope or uplifting message at the end. And, those gems were locked away. I read them to no one. With age comes wisdom and a keen perspective on so many aspects of my life. I wear my heart and soul on my sleeve these days. People say my poetry is inspiring, empowering, and that’s what keeps me filling pages.
That piano, those songs. They both led me eventually to the path I’m on today. Every now and again, I plunk on the piano, usually when everyone’s out of the house. I sift through the piles of sheet music, usually settling on Carole King, Billy Joel, Phil Collins, the Broadway show Pippin, Joshua Kadison, and old high school choir music. My fingers lovingly caress the keys as my voice belts out songs that have been the musical score of my life.
I am so thankful my mother insisted I continue lessons even when I didn’t want them. She was right. Had I not continued, something would have been missing from my life. My piano is an old friend that I can turn to for consolation, in times of joy, and for creative intentions.
Thanks for listening to my Show and Tell! I hope I get a good grade!