Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Keeping Silent

This past November, I moved my piano from my parents' house, where it had lived since I left for college over 10 years ago, to my own home an hour away. I still take a second glance sometimes when I pass through the living room, amazed at its solid, swooping curves, at the fact that I own it. The feeling of playing it never grows less wonderful. But I've hesitated over and over to write this blog post, because when you use words to tell a happy ending, someone can take it away. I've waited to tell about New Year's Eve 2012, when we stuffed handfuls of Hanukkah candles into small flower vases and lit them all at once, counted down with the people in Times Square, toasted midnight with sparkling wine - and after some of us had smoked cigars on the back porch and everyone had come back inside, I played a song for my friends - the only time I'd ever played my piano at one in the morning, and my happiest New Year yet. I'm afraid to tell about the happy endings, because too much has been happening in between. Relationships and old illusions have been dying before my eyes, I've been having to choose between my own survival and measuring up to others' expectations, an old world of religion and conservatism has become as dangerous to my soul as a concentration camp. I'm afraid, I've been so afraid my whole life. I've learned not to tell my story because when you do, you give someone power to take it from you and use it against you. As I type these words I can almost see them spiraling away from me like white smoke, disappearing into the darkness. Yet my piano is still there in the living room.

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