For Life

The best advice I’ve never given?
I think that would be
To learn to play an instrument –
Piano, t’was for me –

I practiced in my lonely teens
When life was naught but questions;
Which only then intensified
When I quit taking lessons

As a young college student. I
Would would play by note or ear
Each piece or song that spoke to me
I might happen to hear.

Which came in handy later, when
‘Round about twenty-five
I grew ill and was home alone;
I could at least contrive

To still play music, even though
I, thrombocytopenic*
Could barely move my fingers which
Had grown rather arthritic

But still the music brought some peace
And helped me as I healed –
When I rejoined the human race
From where I’d been concealed

I got back into playing places
I’d not been before;
And met new people, made new friends
And played, and played some more —

But never once did anybody
Say with true intent:
“I sure regret my learning how
To play an instrument”

They rather mostly envied me
What they just saw as talents:
But music had been more than that
It gave my life some balance.

I don’t tell kids or adults that
They all should learn to play:
From what I know of life
They wouldn’t listen anyway —

For loneliness and love of music
Drove me to excel:
What you don’t have the passion for
You never can do well

But music’s never let me down
But has me oft enchanted:
I pray I’ll always love it, and
Take It
For granted

= = = = =

* Thrombocytopenia – extremely low platelet count, in my case due to lupus.


16 thoughts on “For Life

  1. I learned to play piano through a ouple of used beginner books and a lot of hard work. My story resembles yours through my teens. My piano was one of my best friends 🙂 So glad you are able to enjoy your music. Can’t imagine life without it.

  2. Lovely.

    I was forced to finish a school for guitar, classical. Today I pick her up from time to time, but only to play something modern what I find on internet. 🙂

    1. I never could get the hang of the guitar. My dad was a whiz on the thing, I remember him playing it after work when I was really tiny and taking my bath.

      Thanks for reading and taking time to comment. It’s amazing you read this from Croatia.

      1. I was quite good at it, so they tried to force me to go in high school for it. Oh my God, NO. I just am not into classical that much.

        But it sure is nice to know how to play, although I don’t think it was necessary to get a paper on it, specially since I wanted to dance but forbidden.

        Hehe, trust me, nothing amazing about that. Croatia is as “normal” as USA, we hate our government, spend way to much money on Christmas and have celebrities come here all the time. But we are not starstruck so I guess they like that. If you watch Game of Thrones – it is filmed here. Well, the Kings Landing is. 🙂
        We also have the Balkan mentality hehehe, no matter how much we try to get away from it.

      2. I meant by “amazing” that I was amazed how the Internet works: that poets and bloggers from around the world read (and enjoy) each other’s work.

        I dated a girl from Croatia when I first got out of college, although, at I believe her family had emigrated from what was then known here as Yugoslavia. Back in those days, Croatia became well known in the US as a place that produced a bunch of great basketball players.

        Why were you forbidden to dance? I’m just curious.

      3. Ahh, just kidding 😉 But I’m glad you meant it that way 🙂

        Yes, I am too young to truly appreciate Dražen Petrović and all amazing players who made us proud in basketball, since then football became more widely national sport and USA has their own version of it so we don’t collide 😀

        That’s cute and yes, it was probably during Yugoslavia. I was born in it (88) and had about 3 years when war started.

        My mother said to me that they can’t afford to pay dancing lessons and music school and they would not hear about me quitting the music school :/

  3. I played professionally at one time, and I can still play fairly well. I drive my wife crazy as much as I play sometimes.

    But then, she was already at least a little crazy.

  4. I can’t believe I didn’t respond to this before! My mom played piano, and when she died when I was just 15, the memories of her playing Bach and Chopin and Debussy and such saved my overly depressed life! Not to mention the lessons learned during her life left me with a legacy of music, of oboe, bells, English horn, vocal performance, making the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, I think she would have been pleased. Music enriches your life like few other things.

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