I believe in the pianist. Or rather, I believe that care and love is the only antidote for the inevitable decay of time.
I still remember that balmy summer day when I first laid eyes on the piano. The burly movers carried it into our old Victorian style house while my tiny figure quivered in its beauty. It was old, very old. The type of furnishing that had a history had an essence of wisdom. There are few inanimate objects that have ever held such reverence to me. While I hid in the shadows my whole family stood in awe of the instrument. Finally, when the moment was right, when all was quiet, I had my alone time. I crept over and laid my stout fingers down on the cool ivory keys. The piano was much taller than me, but I ran my hands over the fine oak, observing every hand carving and decoration engraved into this ancient piece of art. I loved that piano. Any spare moment over my childhood I could get I was adjusting the humidity or dusting the keys. I spent hours with a bottle of Pledge softening the hard oak, making it shine again. But like all good things they soon come to an end. I became an experienced musician, and the wear and tear on the old piano became too much. Eventually the music began to fade, first with the silence of the F sharp and then down to the lowest G natural. The scratches eventually would not come off, and the old oak lost its glow. The once dazzling white ivory keys were now a faded yellow, and the ends chipped. That piano had taught me to love music, that piano had taught what music really is. I played my first composition on it, and it wouldn’t be my last. Eventually, the dreaded day came when not a single note worked, not a single bit of music left its massive chest. I watched the burly men take the great dilapidated piece of art away; with it a little piece of my childhood disappeared. Only yesterday I was pushing in its new keys, only yesterday I was wiping of the dust, only yesterday I was softening the wood. But yesterday had come and gone, and today the piano was no more.
With most of our face-paced lives there is little chance to stop and notice what we truly have. The phrase “you don’t know what you’ve got till its gone” should not be tossed around lightly. Do we really know what we have? There is one monster in this world, one evil tyrant that will never be destroyed. Its name is time. No matter how hard we try, its power will set in, the colors will fade, the lights will dim, and the beats will stop. As with all potent monsters, there is no way to rid the world of them. But there is an alternative. Not a solution, but anticatalysts. The warrior’s name is care. There is no doubt that the old piano would have faded much sooner without dedication. While our human efforts may be thwarted and destined for doom, there is nothing we can really do but slow the decay. The power of time is infinite and inevitable.
But where do we find our place in this epic battle? The answer is right beside the things we love most. We must go through life caring for what we have, not yearning for what we don’t. For without love, everything we hold dear will fade quicker than expected. The once hard skin of our youth will eventually become saggy and wrinkly, the power of our young muscles will fade, and the persistent beat of our struggling hearts will stop. But it will not be in vain. For if we act as the pianist, if we realize what we truly possess, and we prolong life with care and love, decay and death will come to us with open arms.
The following winter another beautiful furnishing came into my life, a smaller but hard Rosewood piano walked through my doors. My hands were older and stronger now, I could move up and down the piano with ease. I was skilled and could play compositions my once tiny fat fingers never dreamed. But never will I forget the piano, the old wise work of art that inspired my life that gave me music. So that is where we leave you, life will continue on, decay will never stop our music will fade. Yet that there is an antidote: never stop believing in love.