I woke early this morning. Well, early by local time. I'm still on Costa Rica time, and so, for me alone, early was late.
The new house feels like a mansion with its cathedral ceilings, HUGE beams and its large echoing walls. It's just a converted barn, but it was a BIG effing barn in the first place. So I feel rather lordly. This house feels like a magical mountaintop aerie to me. I am sure that it will eventually feel humdrum and normal, but I can't quite imagine that happening yet. And since I can still see my old house, down in it's snug little sunless valley, from my mountaintop.
Or at least I can see some of its corrogated iron roof, white and sparkly from up here. From up here, there is no rust, there is no sign that that house has any problems. From up here, the woods has no splinters, nowhere to snag your foot on a root, nothing but beauty and form.
I sat on my piano bench in front of my beat up old piano and thought about returning here. I looked at the piano as I did so. I do most of my best thinking while playing the piano. My piano especially, as it has so many tricks. It was in a high school before I owned it, and I received a terribly ugly thing. I've stripped the institutional green and white paint from it, which were probably full of asbestos and lead. I found an old family heirloom bench to use with it. The bench is for an organ, so it's an inch or two off; incorrect for the piano. But it doesn't matter to me. I simply need a place to put my butt while I play. I disappear into the music so far, I could be sitting on a bed of nails and I'd never know it.
Many of the tops to the keys, when I got the piano, had simply been lost with age. They lifted off when the school left the piano out in the weather. Anyhow, by some miracle, every single key still plays, and the notes are more or less correct.
I used to get splinters from the raw, unpolished, angry wood of the plain key, I needed new tops for them. Adam came through, found me ivory bits from off an old piano no longer around.
So, I've replaced the keys that lifted with old worn-out ivory pieces from that other long gone piano. Some of the keys are the white plastic mock-ivory, and some are yellow, real ivory, marbled and smoother.
The replaced keys are colder to the touch, and I rubbed them absently and randomly, finding them by touch alone, occassionally making a "tink" sound. I like to note the slight, miniscule difference in length between my new and old keys.
Despite its flaws, I have a rare fondness for this rather odd piano. Especially now that I'm back. I was never able to find a single keyboard of any kind while in Costa Rica. I was going APE from lack of piano.
So I am absently rubbing piano keys, enjoying the affinity I have for my beat up, ancient piano, but not quite ready to play yet, when I look up over the back of my piano, and I find that the sun is rising. There are low clouds, not quite touching the ground, not quite rising out of the trees.
I'd swear that this fog was sentient, as it had curled itself around hills and trees with a complexity and beauty unheard of in nature. Or at least it seemed so. The bits I could see through it were so pretty, and the green popped. One thing about the sun here. It's 66% weaker here than it is in Costa Rica, but it sure can pop the color green out at you.
I wondered at the fog, at the early morning edgeless ethereal white, as the sun continued to draw streaks of halo-soft light through the swirling mists.
You cannot wonder at how music came to exist, at how humanity came to assume that there are greater forces at work than are known to us, when you watch the sun rise on a valley from a hilltop.
It was time to play Bach's Preludeums. It seemed fitting that the music which began Classical music, the earliest pieces for piano, would begin my day along with the dawn.