Saturday, December 3, 2011

Making room for the piano

I am hard pressed to find something I don't love in my living room. It's small & cozy & filled with things that bring me joy; my primitive art collection, my Virgins,angels and old dolls and my artifacts; rocks, pods & such collected from around the world.
It's not the family room; we have one of those too. Big, loud, filled with teenagers & technology. I don't spend much time in that room outside of movie night.
This is a room without TV. It's my quiet cozy part of the house. My "room of her own", where I read & write and relax. Where I am often alone. It's where I am right now.

My living room hasn't changed much in the last few years; a new feather in the vase or a small owl painting, nothing major. I got things right where I wanted them & I called it done. Why mess with perfection!

One of the things I've been working on in my spiritual practice is movement. I like to stagnate. If still is comfortable than stagnate is more comfortable, right? I think that's what my lizard brain expected. More is better, right?...well, stagnate is not really comfortable at all. It's numb. It's safe in a really unpleasant way. It's the opposite of living fully.

Now, my living room is anything but safe or boring LOOKING. It's a veritable oasis of interesting!
Still, energetically, it had gotten stagnant. I knew it. I'd been thinking about what to do about it. I was worried that anything I might do would make it less than it already was. I was worried about change.

And then came the opportunity of the piano!

My dear friend, Sue, also has a small & cozy "room of her own" but she is anything but stagnant! I have seen that room incarnate in many ways over the last few years! It was a dining room (where more scrap booking took place than eating!) and then a music room. And then a sitting room with a piano in it. Now it's going to be even more cozy and have a small, flue-less fireplace. The fireplace needed to be where the piano was so, the piano had to go!
Sue had some reluctance about letting go of the piano. She's the sentimental sort (we have that in common) and there are a lot of memories attached to the old piano, but her daughter, Katie, was the only one who played and she is off at a conservatory in New York and will probably never live at home again. And Katie is not the sentimental type. She didn't need her mom to save the piano for her. Sue knew the piano wouldn't sell for much so, before listing it on Craigslist, she decided to ask the mom's in our email group if any one wanted it.

When I saw Sue's email, I didn't think much of it at first. No one in my family plays the piano! But then I couldn't get it out of my mind! I grew up with a mom & sisters who played, but I was never given the opportunity to take lessons. Still, I loved hearing my mother play. She always played show tunes and lots of Christmas carols. My husband expressed an interest in playing too, but he never had the chance to learn as a child either. We would have gladly bought a piano when our kids were young but they gravitated to guitars & ukeleles and drums...rock & roll stuff. Still, I kinda wanted that piano!

And then I thought of my living room and I knew how to break the cycle of stagnation. I would take the piano and maybe, just maybe, if you bring a piano into the house, someone will play!

Making space for the piano meant moving a lot of stuff! In a room where I believed I loved everything, I had to ask myself, "how much do I love this"? Could I let this go? Did this have to stay?

Art shifted on the walls and all the objects at rest on my beautiful drop leaf table had to be relocated. There was no longer space for that table or my big, distressed leather wing back chair. It wasn't easy letting them go from the space, but I did (change is good, change is good). Inspired by movement, I went further than the wall that the piano would sit on. Under the window, where my houseplants sit in the sun, I replaced my mother's tea cart with my grandmother's trunk.I shifted the sofa & bookshelf, just a little, to open the space up more and decided to feel the room out, just for a little while, without my enormous primitive farm table/coffee table.
                                            Lolly in the big leather chair, next to the drop leaf table

I made space & the piano came in. Energetically, it felt great! And everyone was so excited to have a piano! I discovered that my youngest son had been teaching himself to play at his girlfriends house. Who knew! He favored these delicate little music box like tunes; so opposite of anything he listens to! And, within hours of it's entrance, my daughter & her boyfriend were learning to play John Lennon's "Imagine" with an app they found on the iPad. Imagine! That sound drew me out of my bedroom and back into the living room. My room. The piano room. A room I so often sit alone in, where now, one of my near grown children was sending me a message. A message about the power of change. Imagine....


  1. Every day I checked over here to see if you posted a piece about Our Piano. And now finally you did! I love it! I can't wait to come over to see it in its new home.
    I am glad you pre warned me about the comment about Katie not coming home. I think I was holding my breath, waiting for it. And I survived. lol
    I'm THRILLED that everyone is coming in to play on it. That's just wonderful.
    While it's still Our Piano, now it's OUR Piano. How lovely.

  2. Forgot to say...I love the photos in this. Is that Ari's photograph of the piano keys? It looks familiar. He gave a copy of it to Katie and she took it with her to NYC.
    Don't ya just love all these connections? I do!

  3. The room is not "finished" but I think the piano looks great. So happy to have it, Thank you for inspiring change! That is Ari's piano photo! I should credit it! And I took that great pic of Lolly in the big chair on Thanksgiving with the iphone hipstmatic. Love that app!

  4. After seeing the piano in there tonight, I have to say it fits. It made me smile. It looked right at home there. Thanks for loving Our Piano. :)