Funny the World...


May 18, 2000

Four years. Wow. It sure doesn't seem like four years.

I've talked a lot about death lately. I want to honor the living David, whose life ended 4 years ago today, at age 24. After David died, we found some of his writings and learned what a talented writer our son was. So in honor of David, I turn today's journal entry over to him. He wrote this as a letter to his friend following a concert he'd attended....

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I want to tell you about my inspiring tale. Today I saw posted on the bulletin board in the music department of my school, a place in which I spend half of my waking life, I saw this flyer announcing the performance of some Russian pianist that was to take place this afternoon, at noon in fact. "Well," I thought quietly to myself, "that sounds as if it might be a worthwhile event to witness." So I made a mental note to try to attend.

Well, come noon I had to high tail it on over to my Japanese teacher's office to make up a quiz that I had overlooked due to a major post-Halloween hangover. The concert had slipped my mind and it wasn't until around 12:10 that I realized my error in doddlation (just made it up myself). so I barrelled on out of the student lounge and bolted light lightning across that quad and on into the music building. Ah, but the show had begun without me (the nerve of that woman!) and I gleaned from a note on the door that I was not to enter until the present piece was to come to a conclusion, although common concert etiquette told me that. So I had to wait outside for her to finish so that I might sneak on in for the next piece.

The pianoforte (I just learned that is the real name of the piano) was situated just thus so so that her back was to me. I stood just outside the door and watched and listened through the window. Man, Storey, this woman was playing the most emotion filled, passionate piano that I had ever witnessed. I could not experience the whole effect with the acoustics; it was all a bit muffled by the door, but I certainly got the jist of what those people in the audience, on the other side of that door, were experiencing. This woman did not just play the piano, she absorbed it. She crawled inside the thing and just became one with the strings and played with every inch of her being. She moved with it. It wasn't just her fingers playing, her whole body was a representation of every single note that came streaming out of her heart, represented on the keyboard. I longed to be in that place so badly, to see her face and to watch her fingers caress the keys and fight with the keys and make love with the keys and wrestle and struggle. Everything that was inside her was pouring out her fingertips and into the strings and then fell over everyone in the entire auditorium. Finally after what seemed like an eternity she finished the piece and applause came roaring as I practically fell through the door, anxious to see with my eyes what this woman looked like. I imagined her as being about forty-three years old, distinguished lines embedded in her eyes marking the years of strenuous work and struggles with life that had built up all the skills and emotion to make such masterful music possible. When she turned around to face the audience she heard me come in clapping and turned to me and I found myself face to face with a girl of no more than twenty-five years old. I was struck with disbelief. I really was. I couldn't believe that someone so young could actually be playing an instrument with such mastery as I had just witnessed from the other side of the door.

For the second piece I sat in the seat closest to her. She was no more than five feet from me. The rest was even more amazing, probably because I was sitting comfortably and the music was fuller, but also because now I got to see her face and everything that was happening inside her came to life in her eyes and in the music. It was incredible. It really inspired my mind to open up and expand. I found myself thinking all kinds of intense, insightful ideas on all kinds of subjects, inspired by this emotional rollercoaster summoned out of chaos and organized into metrics, melodies and harmonies. It was unbelievable. And when she was playing, her whole body, her expressions and movements became similar to that of the man you visualize as the master of the universe. That guy with astern gaze, arms raised, hands lowered, playing all of mankind as if we were his puppets. This was the image that this young woman evoked in me. Because when she was on that piano, she was the master of her entire universe. Nothing could disrupt it. Her fingers literally moved in a blur. You, at times, could not distinguish her pinky from her thumb.

But then it all came to a climax. She came thundering out of the entire movement and dashed out of her seat and stood before ultrasound. That master of the universe had entirely disappeared and the humble Russian girl materialized from behind the screen. The transformation was instantaneous and it left me wondering whether what I had just seen was an illusion or what. Everyone was awestruck and going up to her trying to get n a word of praise or something. I felt that I had to say something to her, but what do you say to someone so powerful? And I had to touch her to affirm in my own mind that she was real. What I ended up doing was I walked up to her, put my hand on her shoulder and I said, "Thank you. You inspire me." Man it was great!

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I sure miss him...

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created 5/18/00 by Bev Sykes