A forum dedicated to the creative expressions, inspirations, hopes and dreams of fellow Karateka.


Postby david » Sun Apr 08, 2001 2:32 pm

For the five years I used to practice at New England Aikikai, I would get up early and drive to the 7:00 AM class in Cambridge. Not a bad drive overall, given the early morning hours and the relatively light traffic. Onto the Arborway to J-Way, along the Emerald Necklace I would drive around 6:15 in the morning. Where Longwood Ave. crosses the J-way, I take a left, cross over the Muddy River and hang a right onto Chapel St. Chapel runs along the Muddy River and the D-line tracks for a bit and hangs a left towards Beacon St. Crossing over Beacon St, I head towards Boston University and cross over the BU bridge into Cambridge.

Sometime after the first year, I noticed at the intersection of Chapel and Mouth Streets, just before the Beacon St. intersection, a grand piano had been placed in the front yard of the corner apartment building. How incongruous to see this grand piano, with its lid up, sitting by itself on the front lawn. I had many opportunities to observe that grand piano, as the traffic light at this particular intersection was incredibly slow. I hazard to say that the piano made that intersection much more bearable. Whoever had placed that piano there filled the inside of the piano body with soil and planted flowers. What a sight to see this beautiful piano sitting regally with daffodils, pansies and other flowers I can't name peeking out from under its lid. The piano gave off a different image and feel as the light and weather conditions changed. In spring, the rain splattered off it's titled lid and glistened its ebony colored body. Soon the buds peeked through and gave forth a burst of color in the early morning light. In stronger sun of the summer mornings, the flowers perched high and upright and greeted the bees and birds with a certain mirth and glee. As summer gave way to fall, the flowers began to droop and brown. In late Fall, the ebony grand piano stood as a lonely stark sentinel in the chilly winds with leaves swirling around and under it. In the dark winter mornings, the piano can be barely seen in the lingering night of the winter gloom. Only on occasions of new snow can one make out the ebony shape under a mantel of fresh virgin white snow…

I have always enjoyed the sight of that piano. Somewhere along the way, I found myself wondering about its history. If this grand piano had a consciousness -- a soul -- what stories would it tell? Did it play the Symphony, center stage, proclaiming its majesty with strong and melodious notes to an adoring crowd of resplendently dressed fans. When did this piano lose its grandeur and the center stage to an even grander piano? How did it feel to become a "second fiddle" and relegated to a lesser stage? What melancholic notes did it emit as the fingers that touched it were not that of concert pianists but that of young aspiring hands -- some with promise and most with none at all? What pain did it feel as the wires no longer held the notes as they once did and the ivory keys chipped, cracked and broke off? Was it embarrassed as its shining black lacquer coat faded with age? Did the piano screamed in horror as it learned that it was no longer deemed useful for what was its reason for being? Did it wish to be dumped onto the junk pile, or dissected for parts, as many other grand pianos before it? Or was it with acceptance and, perhaps, even bittersweet satisfaction to find another purpose for the remaining days of its life? What stories would this piano tell?

Sometime ago, I noticed the lid had fallen off that grand piano. But it sat nevertheless stoically on its stage that was the front yard. I have not gone by recently and don't even know if that grand piano made it through the harshness of this past winter. If it should be gone, that grand piano sits in my memory and my heart. I know not of its history but I know nevertheless of its beauty. It existed and it's perhaps enough that I can say that I saw it and knew it was there.


[This message has been edited by david (edited April 08, 2001).]
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Postby Jackie Olsen » Thu Apr 12, 2001 1:00 pm

Thank you David ...

For the melody of your story... Even though the piano is silent, I can still hear its song.

In Beauty,

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