Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Learning to Play by Heart

My hands know these keys, but not their names. I hear their tones. I feel their notes. But they are unfamiliar in name. I struggle. I plunk. My form is cumbersome. My smoothness needs work......but I am making music. I am getting out the song inside this heart that has been bottled up for too long. Sometimes this song seems overshadowed by doubt. But I press on in the wrong notes and finally have to stop, regroup, focus on the music...."where did I go wrong?" Play by heart, Beloved. I hear the soothing words. I wince. "I don't know where I am." What is this song I'm trying to play? I forget. I hear it daily in my heart, my mind, the depth of my soul. But I can't seem to play it. My hands won't work together. I can't read it either. I want to stop. Shrink back. Quit. Play the easier song I learned in childhood. Why can't I play this? Is there a wall of sorts? Keys stick. Notes stop. And yet, I still hear the song. Others play this song so easily....I struggle with the courage to play it in spite of the wrong notes. Somehow, through all the sour sounds and aching hands, music is made. The song my hands are playing is becoming more like the one in my soul. It's becoming more free. Happy. Easier. It's becoming more me. Play by heart, Beloved. I hear again. OK, Lord. I'm listening. I'm playing. I'm fumbling, working through sheet music that challenges my abilities, my courage. I'm living. Play by heart, Beloved. I close my eyes and play. I feel the music inside. I play what I hear, what my heart longs to say. And I can see........when I play by heart, my heart is happy.

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