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.