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There I sit, at the piano. My vision morphs from color to black and white; all I see are the keys under my fingers and the notes on the page. I hate my life.
“And how many days did you practice last week?” Mom asks.
(Sniff) “Two,” comes my reluctant reply.
“So that leaves five days that went unpracticed, Jess, and you know you are required to practice your songs at least three times a day. Since three times five is fifteen, you will need to practice each song fifteen times to make up for all the missed practicing.”
Great. I think to myself. Just peachy. Good thing playing piano is my favorite pastime… oh wait, it ‘s definitely not. Mom exits the room, leaving me to mope at my pity party. Cruel and unusual punishment, that’s what this is.
I sit down at the piano and begin to play. Forever and ever, at least, it feels like forever, my fingers play. Ever-going, they trek across a smooth polished terrain that never ends. Their journey is timeless—like the classical piece I’m playing. Undying—though Mozart is long gone. Perpetual—like my mother’s nagging. Mobius. Eternal. Infinite. I fill my mind with color to divert my attention from the overwhelming black and white. Will it rain today? When is dinner? I wonder how many calories I’m burning right now? I try to remember my Spanish verbs and the names of past presidents. . . . two and a half hours creep by, and I finish. Finally. My back aches, my eyes are strained, and I feel like I could sleep until June. At least I am finished, until tomorrow.
Piano practice: I define it as the torturous time of day when I sit completely erect on a piece of wood, jabbing at keys and trying to make sense of a language that involves no words. My only company for an hour straight includes the blaring metronome, monotonous scales, and finger exercises so irritating they make even Hanon turn in his grave.
“You’ll thank me when you ‘re older!” is my mother’s mantra. She consistently repeats this whenever any of us kids moan about practicing. Psh. Yea right Mom. Who in their right mind would ever thank someone for being forced into doing something they profusely dislike? What utter rubbish. The only thing I’ll gain from this daily chore is arthritis—forty years earlier than nature ever intended. Yea, thanks a lot, Mom. Little did I know, my mom really did know what she was talking about.
I’ll admit it now, once and for all: yes, Mom, you were right. I am (now) quite thankful for those many years I slaved away at the piano. Through the years I have grown to appreciate, and even enjoy, my daily piano practices, crazy, I know. It started out as an accustomed tolerance towards that big brown brute that ever haunts my living room, nothing serious, strictly business… but then my tolerance turned into a teensy bit of enjoyment, which developed into a gentle fondness, further morphing into a deep and resounding love for my piano and the art of playing it. Then one day I grew up. You might say I became a true woman. On this day, I wore eyeliner for the first time. I also decided to give up a fight, a huge battle I had been waging within myself for years; I let go, and allowed myself to thoroughly enjoy, and even look forward to my daily piano practices. At school I couldn’t wait to get home so I could play—but not with my Furby or Pokémon cards, I actually anticipated the time of day when I would be “forced” to practice my scales. This is the time of my life when I began to discover that work can be fun, in more areas than one. I learned to love working, to want to push myself a little further— to let go of the fear of doing something hard now to better myself in the future. I learned to love learning, to let my mind be teachable, I learned to submit myself to my teachers and become more open and moldable. I learned to love my life more fully; letting nature take its course and evolve my life into something greater than it was before, permitting myself to let go and change my actions and perceptions—both my deeds and thoughts. My eyes no longer register the notes resting on the page as black and white, but rather, as ribbons of color that dance in front of my eyes when played. Synesthesia takes me to an alternate universe, a place where time is nonexistent—where all things ring with color, and all colors reverberate with sound— a place where I can sit at the piano and play for hours on end, all the while not noticing a single moment of it passing me by. The day I learned to live was the day I learned to play—to really play; with my whole heart and soul.
There I sit, at the piano. My vision morphs from color back again to black and white of this earth; all I see are the keys under my fingers and the notes on the page as I finish tinkering off my melody. I love my life.




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ThisLitIsBananasThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 31, 2010 at 6:52 pm:
Woah, you have synesthesia? Cool, so do I! I don't have a cool kind like you, though - I have colours for letters and numbers. But still, really neat article. Great writing. I really wish I had your type. :)
 
grasslova replied...
Jun. 3, 2010 at 1:47 pm :
wo!! You really do? That is so awesome! I wish I had what you do. :) There is so much to be said about it. Do all words and numbers you see have color?
 
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