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.
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.
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.