I have a piano lesson in three hours. Three hours is not enough time to get good. Especially since so many other things have to happen in those three hours, like picking up a boy from child care and a doctor’s appointment and switching the laundry and walking the dogs and having something for lunch. Three hours? Is nothing.
Two weeks ago I had two weeks to get good. Those passed. I filled them up with other things, like going to the beach with friends and going to a party with family and work and a marathon viewing of “Endeavor” and many meals and many snuggles with boys who needed me. I haven’t touched the piano but once in those two weeks.
In three hours I have to slide onto the piano bench at the Lutheran church where I have my lesson and say, “Oh, Mr. Gurney, I have failed to play piano even a little bit these past two weeks,” and he will say, “Andi, playing the piano is a joyful thing. Don’t worry so much.” He’ll be right. I’ll plunk a bit at my song and then he’ll ask if I’d like to hear how it sounds when he plays it and I will say yes, please, and we’ll switch seats and the room will be full of glorious, joyful music for a few minutes. During those few minutes I will make several very serious promises about practicing more frequently and for greater periods of time.
I will have a whole week to get good. It, too, will pass. It, too, will be filled with things other than playing the piano. It will be filled with a trip to Boston to see Neil Gaiman and an overnight stay in a fancy hotel and a fancy dinner at which my dear husband and I will probably laugh hard enough to embarrass ourselves in front of all the other grownups. Because that’s what we do. It will be filled with work and the last days of camp and the last days of dinners consisting of watermelon and chips and salsa. If I am lucky and I concentrate very hard, I will find a few minutes to practice the piano. And at my next lesson, I will say, “Oh, Mr. Gurney…”
And he will remind me, again, of joy.