On Sight Reading, Girl Scouts and Demons

I have a love-hate relationship with the piano.  My earliest memories of the piano were watching my paternal grandmother play circus songs on an old beat up upright while my sister and I tore all the cushions off her sofa and lined them up in a row to tumble on while she played.  I used to love to sit at that same piano and plunk out songs that I learned to play note by note by ear.  When my parents and grandparents discovered that I had an affinity for music, the lessons began.  

I'm sure I was every piano teachers nightmare.  I hated to read music.  It's not that I couldn't read music, I could.  But I was lazy, and I could also "hear" the music, and as soon as I figured out where to place my hands, I was off to the races.  I can't tell you how many piano lessons I sweated my way through waiting for the teacher to ask me to play a certain section of music only to know I couldn't find it because I had no idea where in the music the section was.  Like I said, nightmare.  

In the 5th grade, I was asked to play Taps at the girl scout banquet.  A big event in the life of a girl scout.  Every day after school, my mom would say, "you should practice for the banquet".  Every day, I'd say, "okay".  And then I'd set out to do everything BUT practice the song.  The afternoon of the banquet, my procrastination caught up with me when I tried to shove months worth of practice into an hour.  The night of the banquet, when it was time, I walked to the stage, sat down, said a prayer, proceeded to play and failed miserably.  Scarred me for life.  Therapy scarred.  Why-I-never-picked-up-another-instrument-till-I-was-well-into-my-thirties-scarred.  I haven't played the piano in public since.

But saturday night I wrote a song.  And no arrangement on the guitar or ukulele sounded right.  In my head, I kept hearing a simple little piano part.  But I blew it off and kept noodling around trying to find a guitar arrangement that worked.  But the piano was calling my name.  So while Tom was in the studio, and the kids were away, I sat down in front of the keyboard, and began to find the chords.  Here's what I came up with.  I won't be winning trophies, or girl scout badges anytime soon, but it makes me feel good to know that I don't have to live under the negative messages I formed about myself in childhood.

I wrote this song for my beautiful friend, Lori who recently lost her daughter and is reeling from the devastation of grief.  The first verse is the way she described grief to me.

Like wading in the water

With my feet on shifting sand

The waves whip up around me

And I’m trying hard to stand

And I think I’ve got my balance

When right outta the blue

The current pulls me under

The current pulls me under

And all my memories of you

It’s a losing uphill battle

And it stops me in my tracks

Each time I remember

That you’re never coming back

And all this treading water

It’s the hardest thing to do

Cause the current pulls me under

The current pulls me under

With all my memories of you

Not a needle in my vein

Not a thing to numb this pain

All my friends they tell me

It gets easier with time

Nothing can erase that

For a moment you were mine

Someday I might believe them

Someday it might feel true

But the current pulls me under

The current pulls me under

With all my memories of you

Peace, love and new beginnings...



Marietta July 08, 2013 @11:49 am
Beautiful song...and you do a wonderful job capturing grief.

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