Friday, 16 May 2014

First Wonder of My Sober Life

About ten years ago, after drunkenly pounding on a professional keyboard at a family party and, to my ever-loving husband's ears, sounding brilliant, he surprised me with a top of the line keyboard of my own one Easter of all Celebrations (we are both non-religious but spiritual).  I promptly set it up in the living room, plunked on it a few times, and proceeded to ignore it for the next eight years.  I was too drunk to even dust it most of the time. 

About two years ago I started dabbling in sobriety and during those few conscious hiatuses I developed an interest in playing with the keyboard's funky background music options, wide array of instruments, tempos, beats and within a short while found myself playing a lot of nonsense but keeping a beat and eventually figuring out which chords go with which keys.  I taped the letters on the keys and found it easier to play on key.

I started to feel the pull of a passion slowly over a few months.  I, eventually taught myself to play a two handed version of a selection of well known songs such as Jingle Bells, Frere Jacques and the like with the background accompaniment making my sound ROCK!! Or so I thought.

Over the course of the last year, I've had more and more sober time (and more and more relapses, coincidently) and have found enough sober time to compile a list of close to one hundred songs that I can play by memory.  I don't play when I drink. I don't read music.  I have totally relied on my memory to learn these songs. 

During my current sober stint (lifetime stint I might add)  I`ve taught myself to close my eyes when I play and feel my way around the keyboard.  I`ve been steadily improving over the last twenty one days to the point where this morning I printed the lyrics to Carole King`s Tapestry and Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow and Bobby Goldsborough`s Autumn of my Life and tonight I can play them very well with my eyes closed. 

I am actually able to express myself through music though I must go to an almost trance like state to be fluid in my playing.  If my mind wanders, I immediately hit a sour note.   This is almost a meditation for me and my body sways as I play. 

I am not even talented enough to play in a seedy bar but by golly, I can play.  I can play.

I wonder what other wonders about myself and my world I am going to discover in the years to come; years that are spent actually present and accounted for. 


  1. OMG, this is soooo fabulous!! I keep surprising myself with new interests and abilities, discoveries about what I like and dislike- now that I am out from under that cloudiness of alcohol. I love your closing your eyes and connecting to your sound, your music. This is so very exactly the authenticity that we have the opportunity to access once we stop hiding from ourselves with alcohol! Congratulations!!

    1. Hi Carrie, isn't it amazing that despite the fact that we've been preventing ourselves from really living deeply, when we open our eyes in sobriety, life allows us to live authentically again. It is miraculous. xox

    2. I'm not long into sobriety, but it's so much better already than the drinking life. Every day I drive a long way to work and before, my nerves were so shot I'd sweat and be near to panic a lot of time. Every damn day. So soon after ditching the bottle, I can actually enjoy driving again!

  2. Ginger here (MWO)..... I love that you use it like meditation. I put down my guitar about 20 years ago and never picked it up again. Lost my focus in a bottle of wine. Maybe it's time to pick it up again. Hmmmm

    Can you record a song and post it for us? I'd love to hear you play.

    1. You must pick up that guitar. It's amazing what the deep recesses of the mind remembers! I may try to post my playing for you if I can manage the techie part of it. xx