An Ode to my Piano

Dear One,

It’s been more than a decade since we first met but honestly, you’re in my earliest recollections of childhood, I can’t remember a time when i did not have you in my life.

I remember being excited on my first piano lesson at Symphony Music School @ the old CWP and in the following months, being so eager to get home to you to practice ‘A Dozen A Day’ and John Thompson’s.

I remember practicing my grade 1 A:1 piece, ‘Sarabande’ and it was my very first favorite song. I can still remember the tune clearly today, thanks to you.

I remember very vividly the day i came home after piano lesson to practice triads for the very first time, i thought I was becoming pro. silly little me

You grew with me, sitting in the corner of the hall, faithfully accompanying me at every daily practice session.

I remember as I stepped into youthhood, venting my frustrations out on you, playing ‘Danza de la Moza Donosa’ by Alberto Ginastera in the most ungraceful, forceful way.

I remember crying on you mere hours before my grade 8 practical exam because that morning my fingers couldn’t seem to perfect the trills for A:1.

I remember the feeling of accomplishment each time i tried out the few bars of what i composed for grade 8 theory (though my compositions were never that great).

You’ve watched me grow, witnessed my terrible days and my on top of the cloud days.
You’ve brought me only more growth and so much joy with every hour I spent together with you.
You’ve shaped me in more ways than you can ever imagine, you were with me when no one understood why trills were so hard to play with stiff morning wrists.

Thank you for the years of love and happiness and laughter you’ve brought to me, my family and my friends.

Thanks to you, my practices have led me this far.
Thank you for never letting me down, for never letting me go away sad and I promise I’ll keep stepping upwards.

You’ve grown old with me and now it’s time to say good bye.

Thank you for being my first real piano, for sticking by me through so much tears and pain, for being a comforting constant in my life.

You’ve served me well.

It’s 2.00pm, the movers have come.

My heart is swelling with emotions.

So now, dear one, it’s time for you to go make some other place better and I hope you fill their house and hearts with the same happiness and gentle, faithful love you’ve given me for all this while.

Lovingly yours,
Joanna Tan.

 

 

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I know where I’m going

You thought you were moving on but suddenly you feel like you’re the one left behind, and never will have time to fill the gaps that are here to stay, never get a chance to say what you want to say.

Thousands of twenty-four hours have passed away the way tides swell and retire; not here to stay, not here to stay, they seem to murmur to those who would listen.
And the darkness descends like curtains after a play; only the anticipated thunderous applause is exchanged for an ear-splitting silence.

Dead. Gone.

Nothing remains the same.

And you. You are the one left behind.

Those you knew and loved, speedily slip away from you like gentle ghostly mist floating into oblivion on a wintry day; they’re leaving, all of them and you are stupidly clinging to the pitiful little trinkets you keep that reminds you of them to find a solace for yourself.

Your shrivelled brain, filled with complicated innumerable theories and age old proven formulas, yet strangled with some dust framed memories of some previously loved pretty muse but you were moving on.

Or were you?

Weaving in and out of an insanely endless cyclical routine, it’s ridiculously easy to forget what you’re doing and why you’re doing what you’re doing.

The lines, where are the lines, you scream, as an agony deep in your soul firms its unmerciful enslaving grasp around your neck, stifling your breath and oh, it hurts.
Where are the lines that should you cross you would be deemed extreme. If only they were drawn with lead and graphite and washed with a coat of the blackest ink, and you would never cross that repulsive line.

You don’t want to be defined as extreme, do you?

And the whole mocking world now includes the ones who claim to walk the same walk with you, and they make you the championing fool. They seem to take a cruel delight in blurring all the lines for you with open, high, intellectual ‘non-judgmental’ talk, crafted with fake innocence to belittle you, and make you feel small and basically a nothing. The fact is, in the end, they make you think that they’re better than you.

If there ever was a living paradoxical flummox that would drive them, drive them up the wall, drive them crazy, they point at you and you’re that one.

Here I stand, the most miserable forgetful creature.
How dreadful to claim weakness as brother to my living and dishonor the Victory that reigns in me.

Redeeming Love called me from darkness into Light, and yet selfish pride and waves of bitterness engulfs me, filling me from the very depths of my chest, then over spilling and eagerly consuming, threatening to maliciously devour my entire being, to take me captive.

I look in the mirror and yes, I see how wretched I am.

I realize I don’t deserve the Lord’s lovingkindness, but He is so kind to me.
I thank and praise Him for loving me even when I rejected and despised His longsuffering towards me.

He is so, so good to me.

I am compelled by Love Himself and I must follow Him.

1 Peter 2:9-10 KJV
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

Thursday Thoughts: I am Sorry.

{ I don’t know what to do with apologies }

It’s kinda sad when people hurt you and apologize and now the onus is on you to painfully and more carefully hide how it all still hurts. No, it shouldn’t be this way.

–// Take a plate. Drop it.
Watch the shattered pieces decorate the floor.
Collect the broken shards.

Now, apologize to it.

There. It is fixed. //

We’ve all been taught by our parents to apologize when we are in the wrong and to graciously accept apologies from those that wrong us.
While I still agree with that rule, however, to a certain extent, I no longer believe an “I’m sorry” is applicable to severe offences.

It seems to me that an offer of apology serves to only ease the conscience of the offender…
and does nothing to help the wounded…
Does it not?
–/ I hear so many hearts breaking //

That is why, in some cases, I do not believe an apology is worth anything.

Sure, it is a valid courtesy. But still, sadly, and too often, a courtesy too late.

One day, I will teach my own children the importance of saying sorry, but I will also teach them that some hurts created are too deep that not even a hundred apologies accompanied with “Please forgive me” cards attached to a thousand red roses can ever reverse the damage.
I will tell them how their own mother’s youth-hood was drowned with blood and tears and many fears because she was weak and foolish enough to let people’s words stab her heart a million times over.
I will show them my scars and tell them how I wish for them to be strong people, that will not easily let some outsider’s brusque discouraging actions and words affect their heart.
But if and when it does, I understand, and oh my beautiful child, it is okay.
They can climb into my bed in the middle of any night at any time and I will hold them till their shoulders stop shaking, until their tears dry.
I will remind them to be always careful of what they say, and how much I hope and pray that they never be found guilty of killing someone’s soul or spirit with quick, sharp tongues that shoots careless words.

So if you know you’ve hurt me deeply, show me with your actions that you’re truly sorry.
If you have apologized, I truly admire the humility and courage you had put together to do so and thank you.

But if you haven’t, don’t.

Don’t apologize.
It’d only make me cry cos I’d feel so lost. And I don’t want to feel that way.

Don’t apologize.
Please.

I wouldn’t know what to do with it.

Saturday Series: Sensitively Senseless

I know you’ll never treat yourself right darling, but I want you to//

I’m done with people judging me, but that doesn’t mean I can’t tell when they do.
nice from far, but far from nice.

I don’t get how people have so much time to judge other people when their own lives are a complete mess hurhur –/fix yourself first, human, before you fix another.

How does a sensitive person cope in a senseless world
Where human communication is sent in electric joules that burns nerves to kill each other,
Where the heartbroken breaks hearts for a living,
Where respect is only found in the unending rows of names of the dead, carved in marble and granite.

–/ it’s safer for your gentle heart to stay broken