“No sharps, no flats.” I whispered nervously to my mother who was gathering her hymnal and specs.

“You need to be weaned from C major,” she replied as she solemnly ticktocked her way up the pulpit.

I choked as I realized I was doomed, “I’ll throw the whole congregation off key!”

Mama in all her chorister wisdom ignored my plea. My 12-year old fingers struggled on the upright. I swore that if I died of embarrassment I would kill her after worship.

Subtly her eyeballs convulsed; vision shining encouragement my way. I saw sparks. Blood spurted up my temples. I did see a double bar line….

Then I was twenty-two.  With practice difficulties on a few scores that sent fingers whirling clumsily over the keys had become almost unnoticeable.  It was my turn to be decisive.  Chords after chords, observing dynamics after dynamics.

For it is… two flats, one on the bass the other darting up the G clef,  in giving! That we… receive!… It is in pard’ning… fingers executing four consecutive sharps in crescendo poco a poco… that we are pardoned… Mama’s soprano voice braced for fortissimo – it is in dying… I almost missed a single, quick natural sign but didn’t.   That we are born… I relaxed. The grand swelled, to eter. nal. life…!

The second bar line was finally a thick one. The congregation exhaled an amen. In that tropical church thousands of miles from Assissi, St Francis’s prayer shone through.

This post is linked with Sunday Scribbling.

This entry was posted in music / songs, Sunday Scribblings and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Shine

  1. Jae Rose says:

    Time jumping through the piano keys..memories in sounds and notes..something always making it many things shining in here..a big cheery middle-C back to you! Jae 🙂

  2. Lilibeth says:

    An excellent story, creative in design and shining with meaning!

  3. Jingle says:

    creative story.

    well done…Happy Easter.

  4. Old Egg says:

    What a great story. Your line “I swore that if I died of embarrassment I would kill her after worship.” is the best I have read this week.

  5. chris says:

    This story touched me because I played piano as a youngster and hated it. But in this story, you kept going and were rewarded with great success! Wonderful tale!

    • Hazel says:

      Thanks, Chris. I did love the piano. But the piano hated me 😉 Good thing my mother insisted that both the piano and I should be at least civil to each other. Maybe this particular episode pulled through out of respect to the good old Saint.

  6. ladynimue says:

    This was wonderful !!
    Perfect shining moment 🙂

  7. Wendy Erman says:

    for narrative that worries about being musically sound, the writing about the music is a sound melody full of expertise regarding that subject matter. Thanks for the timeline via music.

  8. Meryl Jaffe says:

    I took piano for many years, it always sounded like clunking 😦

  9. Hazel says:

    I’m sure you were good at other things.

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