Piano keys. Blacks, whites, minors and majors.
I do not know what to do with them. They all look the same to me, but I know each key produces a unique sound, a sound that I know corresponds to some note in some piece of sheet music.
A sheet music. There is one sitting in front of me. But the notes, the rests, the bars, and the time signatures all appear to me to be just an undecipherable jumble of lines and code. How I wish I could decrypt everything written there and just translate everything into beautiful, beautiful music.
I try to hit a key. Dongk. Blech. What a horrible, horrible sound. I try to hit another. Dungk. That’s even worse. Dongk-dungk-ungk-langk-tengk-mongk. Jungk. That last key just about summarizes my whole attempt at music making. Junk.
The keys are blurry and my eyes can no longer make out the piece of paper that they term as a sheet music. Music? How could anyone make music from such a cryptic thing?
A tear falls. I wipe it away.
But then another one escapes my eyes, and soon there is a cascade of them falling down my cheeks. If I’m not careful, they will soak, seep through, and possibly destroy the fragile piano keys.
Let them destroy it. I don’t care. I will cry my heart out and my frustration away.
“Child? Are you okay?”
I can hear the voice of my Father. I do not answer. I don’t want him to know how incredibly frustrated I am right now.
“Child? Would you like to tell me what’s the matter?”
He is persistent. I pretend that I do not hear him still.
“Child, I’d like to help you out, if that’s alright with you.”
His voice is soft and patient. And right now, it is just a simple whisper, but I can hear him clearly. He has already sat down beside me and now he is looking at me intently.
“I’d like to help you out, dearest.”
Carefully, he starts playing a beautiful melody. My tears begin to subside and I steal a glance at him and his fingers which are gracefully dancing over the blacks and whites of the piano keys.
“It’s simple really, my dear.”
He takes both of my hands and places them over his. He starts playing again. With my hands on top of his, he plays a sweet, sweet melody. My fingers dance along with his and I feel like I’m playing the melody too.
As the melody is played out, he starts to sing as well. “Tears in your eyes, questions in your mind – how many times do I have to tell you? That I am for you, I know what you’re going through? Know that I’ll never leave you nor forsake you. I’m with you, I’ll see you through.”
I know that song. “And together we will soar high above every storm… my wings shall hold you, my strength, sustain you… my love shall carry you through… and we will soar…”
The music continues to play. He and I continue to sing. The blacks and whites of the piano no longer seem so hateful. And I can now see the sheet music clearly. I realize that the song that we are singing is the one written on that piece of paper.
The music gently fades away and makes room for another.
My Father looks at me, smiles gently, and says, “We’ll do this together, my child.”
We’ll do this together.
And with my fingers still over his, we play some more.