Of washing pegs and music sheets



Forty-six years old (with out-of-the-nest children) not fitting into any body-hugging dresses (or is it the other way around?) presently decided to start with piano lessons (again); the last past time sweating-stressing through grade 4-national exams which never happened – everything just too tight for the little butterball: breath, angst, body-hugging childfears, and parents’ purse.

With trepidation I arrived at the introductory lesson. It happened that I mention to be the proud owner of a CharlesLouis Hanon book for finger exercises to which the reply or was it rather the look followed that we don’t do scales. I didn’t know whether to feel worried or calm. I decided that calm was what I needed and wanted and want. My teacher is a jazz pianist, a performer. I am a forty-six year old (with children) and other handles.  

We use washing pegs to keep the pages from turning over. It works. I thought my sight-reading skills would would chop-stick me into blues, jazz, pop and rock. I was wrong. I am playing with one hand. I am introduced to the Chords: The Majors, Minors, Major, and Major 7th’s. I looked them up. I am going to have the pleasure of the Chord’s acquaintance for a very long time. The family is big.

Present tense reality:

Today is a public holiday in our part of the world: Election day. Twenty-six parties running for first place. Democracy. The voice of the people. What if the majority of the people can’t read, write or think? What if 40 % of the population is unemployed? During the weeks up to today free food-parcels and clothes were handed out to thousands of people. Ballot-boxes falling from closed trunks during special election meetings and marked ballot papers (the cross is done for you!) found at election stations (not open yet) were just some of the creative things that happened during the early hours of  this day. I have an inkmark on the nail of my left thumb. One vote can make a difference. Hope, trust, and prayers for change. Democracy. And my wine glass is empty.

Present tense pleasures:

I made chicken curry for lunch. Robert Plant (from Led Zeppelin) and Allison Krauss’s Raising Sand plays in the background.

Present tense tasks:

Cooking Basmati rice. Setting the table for two people. Filling empty wine glasses.

Future shock:

Husband’s voice: something is burning! The timer – a cute St. Bernard gift from Switzerland –  didn’t work, or I didn’t hear it. Heavily tanned chicken curry.


Rice or bread rolls, dear husband? Do I have a choice? Yes, rice or bread rolls.


2 thoughts on “Of washing pegs and music sheets

  1. I do admire you for fulfilling that life-long dream of playing piano. In America it seems that so many of us take piano lessons when we are young, but don’t continue. I guess it’s so much easier to listen to “professionals” on CD or on the iPod, but I do think we are robbing ourselves of much pleasure when we quit making our own music.

    I still like to play, though my oldest daughter has far surpassed my abilities. Sometimes we play duets and she is patient with me. It’s a lovely thing to do on a Sunday afternoon.

    It took me a minute to figure out what you meant by washing pegs, but as I took a closer look at the picture I see they are clothespins! I get it! I’m learning things from you 🙂

your thought is a gift

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