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Perfect Harmony This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     Perfect harmony. That was all I needed. Perfect harmony in my life, all aspects coinciding and creating peace and happiness in my mind and my soul. Some say this is unattainable. I would have thought so, but tonight, sitting down in front of an old piano, I did the impossible.

Who knew a nocturne could change one’s life, the uneasy life of a misunderstood young girl who has nothing left but to sit at a piano bench and hope to find what she is missing? Look in the bookshelf, take out a book of Chopin. Sight-reading is never easy, but tonight it made sense.

What a beautiful melody. Fingers gliding over the slightly dusty keys; how can rectangular pieces of plastic create such ecstasy? Sure, there were obstacles along the way; my fingers missed the flats following the sharp key signature in the third measure, then somewhat gracefully corrected them. Reminds me of being a child, disgusted and reluctant to learn a new rondo or sonata. Why had I hated it so much before? Because I had been constantly pushed, constantly scolded and told to practice. The piano has a crooked heart engraved on its side and scratch marks spelling out Sangeun, Sangsoo, and Alissa, BFF! in childish letters.

They left the piano for me and I had hated using it, despite the memory of my best friends. But tonight, there is no one to tell me what to do or how all eyes would be on me, the little girl who played pieces fit for professionals, winning trophies and medals, getting outstanding ratings. Tonight, it was just me, my thoughts and the piano, and it all made sense. It was like this very second was created for me to play this nocturne.

So I played it, and, for the first time, the piece brought me to tears, not just any part, but the harmony created by a single low B, D-sharp and F-sharp.

Perfect harmony.

It resonated in my body, sending my pulse flying and my veins rushing. A feeling no drug could induce; like you could fall off the end of the earth, diving into absolutely nothing, and be happy and complete. Indescribable. It was the reason things started to make sense. It was why I was here. It was absolutely beautiful, and it moved me, and that’s why I cried.

I wanted to stop playing, but I couldn’t. My fingers continued on to the next note, the next chord, the next harmony, and every minor key harmony pushed me closer and closer to ... something. I think this was like the Buddhist concept of Nirvana, only this was so much better. It was a rush of emotions, both sadness and euphoria, and that’s when I realized that music is my life. It’s in my blood, and without it, I’d be an empty shell; not quite dead, but most certainly not alive. I know now that I have only music to make me happy, music to trust, because each time you open a book of notes, the same ones are always there, like the dependable friend you’ve never had. Each time, you play the notes a little differently, create a different interpretation, a different thought, a different scenario, a different meaning. One simple chord written by one simple man on one simple day. True genius. Like the harmony of a male and female voice rising richly above an instrumental, wafting over unseen measures, intermingling and lovingly, soulfully caressing each other. What else could you ask for?

And sometimes your fingers stumble, hitting the wrong keys, interrupting the connected flow of the waves of melody. The world is suddenly full of sin and hatred and everything crashes down upon you, rudely jolting you awake from your partial consciousness. Life stops, but only for a moment, until the sound is brought back to its perfect existence. Life goes on.

Forget people. Forget the material things and ever-changing surroundings. All I could ever do is live in the hopes that there will be one moment, just one moment, somewhere deeply embedded in the markings of time, of perfect harmony.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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lildrummerdrew said...
Nov. 9, 2010 at 5:17 pm
I can relate to this exactly! except, maybe, in the instance of the chord, perhaps you could, instead of going for a simple b chord, maybe try for... I dunno, take out the d flat/c sharp, maybe even use your hands for more octaves of it, just use a high d flat/c sharp... but still brilliant!
 
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