Tag Archives: pianist

When the wheel never stops turning …

life can become more of a trial than a joy.

The thought process becomes so discombobulated with the inundation of information and images that simply focusing on what is relevant becomes a near impossibility.

My family and friends know that some of my blogs are about them.  They are about life as I live it, so how could they not be?

This particular blog is about photographs that aren’t my own; photographs I want to take.

It is about images I want to see with my own eyes, not through someone else’s.

It is about the words that surround the images.

It is about the music I play that enhances the images and the words that describe them.

It is about the the things I dream of.

These statements alone make me sound like some kind of fanatic, but I’m not a fanatic.

I am a photographer.

I am a writer.

I am (somewhere in my soul) a musician.

I want to see, write and hear for myself.

Experience the heat, the cold, the adrenaline, the magic, the music, the inspiration, the awe.

I work for a living so that I can traipse around to places I want to see, photograph them and then write about them.

It may sound as though I am putting down the importance of nursing, something I have done for 25 years.

I’m not.

Just today, a patient made me cry when he told me that I was a bright spot in his day and he looked forward to my visits more than he did meal-time.

If you have ever been in the hospital, you know that meal-time is one of the highlights, and so I felt very moved.

But I wanted, more than to speak with him and encourage him, to photograph him.

I have been on a photographic journey, teaching myself, learning from others, finding God in the creation He so beautifully paints, for more than 30 years.

It is my center.  My sense of self.

My life is made up of images.  They rotate through my head like a never-ending carousel .

Image after image after image after image.

And the words.

Mrs. Campbell in eleventh grade gave me the courage to have  confidence in my words.

She was my favorite teacher and the one, above all, that I remember the most.

And yet, I digress. (But thanks, Mrs. C)

I can’t even begin to explain, with all of my words, what the words, when coupled with the images, does to me.

It shatters me on a level that is the most perfect shattering a person could ever hope for.

I wonder sometimes if I am vain.  I certainly don’t think much of myself, so that kind of vanity is out, but the images … I like them.  I want others to like them.  I desire, not to be famous, or even rich, but to simply be able to live out my life doing what I love.

I don’t think that is too much to ask, but therein lies the vanity.

I look at myself and see nothing special … I look at the images I see through the eyes God gave me and I see great things.

I don’t mind, particularly, sleeping in my car.  I don’t need much more than toast-chee crackers and an occasional diet Dr. Pepper.

But I need to see.

To experience.

To feel.

I want to know what a North Dakota winter looks like, what a New Orleans Summer smells like, what driving along the coast road from California to Washington State feels like.

I want to see the beauty, to feel the air, to see the endless flat road of Kansas extending out in front of me.

I want to taste the fog of San Francisco and breathe the vastness of a Montana sky.

I used to think that I wanted too much, but a wise woman (my mamaw Daphne) told me “some people want the simple and others want the extravagant  … wanting is wanting whatever the dream may be”.

She taught me to not be ashamed to want the things I want and dream for the things of which I dream.

If I can see the things I want to see, I won’t need others to show them to me and if I can play the piano myself, I won’t long for someone else to play for me.

So my dreams are this … to see my country and then see Ireland, to play the piano and to have a jeep, preferably red .

That is the extent of the the dreams I have for myself …

I have much deeper and greater dreams for those I love and cherish, but myself?  It is the simple things that stir my heart.

I have hope.

I have faith.

Nothing else is required.

It will happen when it happens.

And it will happen.  Of that, I am certain.

Until next time, be well, my friends … be well.

And don’t forget to dream.

flowersfornini

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If I were granted a single wish …

I know, without hesitation, what I would wish for.

And, though it is second highest on my list and likely what many of my friends will think of first, my most cherished wish is not to own a  jeep.

It is to be able to play the piano.

No, not simply play it, but to master it.  To become one with it as though it were an extension of myself; much, I suppose, in the way my camera is now.

A part of my heart, my soul, my spirit.

A bursting forth of all the melodies that live inside my head.

I practice and practice and practice and yet never seem to make any real progress.

Oh, I can play at it a bit, but let’s, for a moment, live in reality, shall we?

I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t wish I could play.

Wanted, more than anything else, to be able to sit down and just play.

Whatever.

Whenever.

I have friends who play.

My friend Randy is a genius on the piano and many times, I have watched his hands move effortlessly across the keys and found tears that I wasn’t even aware of sliding down my face at the simple beauty of the sight as well as the sound.

He played one of his original pieces at my late husband’s funeral and it was astounding.

It is the song I most request him to play.

And he does.  Play it for me, that is, because he knows I have a love to hear and watch him play.

I have other friends who play, ones I have heard though have not seen, but in my mind, I bring their hands into focus as they make music out of the air they breathe.

I hope, one day, to see it as I hear it, for while it was beautiful to hear, it would be magic to see.

It is the only thing that I can think of that I would give up photography for.

Yes, I said it.

I would trade photography, something I love more than life itself, for the ability to sit at a piano and play with the knowledge and privilege of an accomplished pianist.

Those who play often take it for granted.

That ability.

That gift.

That beauty.

I make music.  Some of it quite lovely … but I don’t read music and therefore cannot write music which leaves me with no way to portray it or save it so that I can play it again.

And so it is, though a lovely thing at the time, lost to me when I need it most.

I don’t want to depend on others for something that completes me and yet, I find myself doing exactly that.

And sometimes, I am simply left wanting, wishing and imagining.

Such is the way of it and, I suppose if I want it to be different, I will have to bring to the surface my inner pianist.

She is there, I know she is.  I just haven’t found her yet.

pianist

a pianists’ hands

When the words I dearly love mean nothing …

then I know that I am in a fix.  The words are there, the right words, but they are so jumbled and discombobulated that when they come out, they aren’t right.  They are harsh or meek or, worst case scenario,  make no sense at all to anyone but me.  I lash out at the ones I care about for no good reason at all.  I expect them, since they know me, or say they do, to understand, but it doesn’t make it fair.  It doesn’t make it right.

Right now, at this moment, it takes all of my concentration to simply string words together in a coherent sentence.  Knowing this and knowing that I have conversed with people I care about about in my current state of mind brings about something that, while I am adept, they really have no experience with.   I was told recently by a friend that they were sorry they caused me anxiety.  I don’t have anxiety, I have racing thoughts that, at times, coincide with an intense “non-emotional” state.  It isn’t sadness.  It isn’t depression.  It is simply the absence of emotion.  And the absence of emotion is never, ever a good thing.

I called my mom tonight just to hear her voice. She doesn’t try to fix me or offer advice, she just listens as I tell her how nuts I feel.  And I do feel nuts, whether I really am or not.  That still remains to be seen.  She listens to my thoughts and says to me “we’re here if you need us”.  And she means it.

When I told her I had to get out of here for a while, she didn’t question it, but only said to let her know where I was going.  I have no idea where I’m going, but the ocean is calling to me.  The ocean, it is said, has no memory.  That is what I’m looking for.  Something without a memory.  Something that will not recall the harsh words, sobbing tears or indifference that, over the past few days, I have felt.  Maybe I will make it there and maybe, by the end of the week, I will be back to myself.  Either way, I cannot stand to be here for a second more than is necessary.  And dumping on the people in my life is not the answer.  I don’t know what the answer is, but I know that doing so is not it.

After work on Friday, I will start driving.  What direction is, as yet, unknown, but I will drive until I get where I am going.  And once there, I hope I will find what eludes me at the moment.  Sanity.  Pure and true sanity with a calm mind and rational thoughts.  I will let my  mom know where I am because she asked me to; as for everyone else, there seems no real need.  I am an anomaly in their lives.  I don’t hold it against them. I am an anomaly in my own life; how can I possibly expect someone else to know what makes me tick when I’m not certain myself.  A solitary life.  For the most part, it is the perfect solution; except, of course, when I filet the people I care about because I come to a point where control is  nearly impossible.  Yes, for the most part, a solitary life would be the perfect solution.  I rely on music to get me to a point when I can, once again, speak coherent thoughts.  I am grateful for the pianists, who play the notes my mind sings, that keep me, on some level, sane.  May God bless each one of them.

pianist

John 14:27 ~ Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid

The Pianist …

was in the mood to play.  This has been one of those rare spaces of time that I live for.  Moments that move me past my everyday life and touch the very core of that which makes me who I am.  A time when emotions show themselves and then are pushed aside as the sheer joy of  music fills my spirit.  Before tonight, I didn’t realize how low my Spirit was feeling.  Putting on a smile for the onlookers is easy.  Those who don’t know what they are looking at take it at face value.  I had begun to almost believe it as well.  Until tonight.

I got all jazzed up and found that I was only going through the motions at the employee Christmas party.  Afterward, however, was the turning point of the evening.  I stopped by the house of two of my dearest friends. There was laughter, friendship and camaraderie that one can only get from those they are closest to.  And then the offer came.  The offer to listen as he played the piano.  After the first song, I simply burst into tears and was moved so deeply as they ran, unashamedly,  down my face.  It was as if the notes on the page weren’t there at all, such was the depth of the music.  I found myself feeling freed of every negative thought that was swirling in my mind.  The profoundness of the notes were so moving that my Spirit had no choice but to open itself, becoming released from burdens and sadness that I had not really, until then, been aware were there.

I felt transcended; removed from time and space .  There was nothing in my world at that moment but the musician and the music he made; his hands flying over the keys, the sound touching me intimately,  stimulating every cell in my body.  I felt awakened and content; calmness and exhilaration blending to become an emotion of its own.  Thoughts that had filled my head for days and weeks were swept away, leaving nothing but the serenity of hearing such brilliance being played in my presence.

It is hard to explain what the sound of a piano does to me.  It makes me feel breathless and full of something so wonderful that the world can’t touch. I consider myself immensely blessed to have a piano man in my life; and am thankful beyond what I have the capacity to relay in mere words that he plays for me.  I suppose it isn’t really for me, but for himself, but I like to think it’s for me because he knows I love it so.  Thank you, my friend, for sharing your gift with me.  I am richer now than I was only a few hours ago because you took me somewhere so ethereal that even my vivid and encompassing imagination has a hard time comprehending it.

Even as I write this post, the rain is beginning to fall.  I can now say, without reservation or hesitation that this has, without a doubt, been the best evening I’ve had in a very long time.

flowersfornini

Isaiah 55:12 ~ You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.