Monday, May 11, 2015

Courting the Muse

I suppose I’ve loved her my whole life, but truth be told, she hasn’t always been good to me. One day she only has eyes for me and the next she’s off with some young thing with flashy fingers, more hair and a catchy charisma. I make dates every day with her, but it’s hit or miss whether she’ll show up. And if she does, she might just turn the other way and ignore me as if I’m not worthy of her attention. It doesn’t particularly matter how I treat her. I can do all the exercises to keep trim and in shape, make the time to talk with her, give up a beautiful sunny day outdoors to sit and listen to what she might say, but none of it guarantees that she’ll give me the time of day. It’s maddening.

It gets worse. There’s no marriage counselor or couples therapy that can help, no book in any self-help section that addresses the real issues, no ap to turn on the love switch. Fact is, nobody knows why she is the way she is (least of all her) and nobody, no time, no way, has the least clue as to how to make this relationship work the way we dream it should. Yes, 99% perspiration helps and you do need to show up each day regardless of whether she does and maybe some deep breathing or walk out in the forest or dimming the lights makes your invitation more attractive and enticing. But don’t count on it.

And yet there are folks out there who seem to always have her by their side, arm-in-arm, looking up with adoring eyes. I need to consider that maybe I’m not worthy of her, or at least while sitting on the piano bench. Maybe I’m courting the wrong muse. Maybe she senses that I already have a glimmering presence by my side in front of a group of kids or a group of teachers training to teach kids. She doesn’t want to play second fiddle to that one and so she snubs me. Or flirts with me and then disappears.

But this I know. When she does grace me with her presence, there’s nothing in this wide, wild world that can compare. After a period of moving my fingers half-asleep over the ebony and ivories and feeling like the combination of small muscles, hammers and strings was simply a combination of small muscles, hammers and strings, today she sat by my side and now there was a depth to the tones resonating in the soundboard that opened my eyes to the luminescent sea life far below the surface, there was flight to my fancy that lifted me up to the heavens, there was a breadth stretching from the lowest A to the highest C and gathering together the full canopy of emotion.

Will she stay with me tomorrow? Or even ten minutes from now? Who knows? But I’ll be there shaved and showered, ready for the possibility.

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