Posted by: Marie | August 25, 2012

(696) And now I’m changing my mind – Part 1 of 5

Post #696
[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, October 5, 2011]

Lately, I’ve been knee-deep in teaching and with working with the student ensembles in preparing for our ensemble clinic in January. It’s been a very busy school year so far!

Whenever I’ve had a free minute, I’ve been working on cleaning up my new piano. My first attempts at cleaning the keys created gummy streaks . . . I figured out that I needed something more than just warm water . . .

Photo by Martin Chen

So, this week, I bought some Murphy Soap and a sturdy scrub rag and started cleaning the keys it . . . and my bright yellow rag kept leaving dull yellow streaks on the keys . . . “Oh, no!” I thought . . .

I got some paper towels and continued cleaning with the white paper towels . . . then I saw the yellow was now on the paper towels, even when I used the paper towels on the keys where I had not used the yellow rag . . . then I figured it out . . . cigarette tar! This piano has been around a smoker at some point in the last 50 years.

So . . . I developed a three step process . . . once over with warm soapy water to get most of the tar off . . . next round is the yellow rag with little rubber scrub dots (with more soap and water) to remove the really stubborn yellowed fingerprints . . . next round is the soft polishing rag (with a bit more soap and water).

The polishing rag is showing very little tar, so I must be getting it off in the first two steps. It takes me about an hour to do all three steps on one octave of the keyboard . . . seven octaves on the keyboard . . . seven hours total just for the keyboard . . .

But, it is amazing how the cleaned keys have become a shade whiter! At least I now know why my earlier attempts to clean the keys created gummy streaks that I couldn’t get off.

The piano tuner is coming tomorrow for the first round of tuning . . . the kids are very anxious to play on the new piano, so they will be glad when it is ready to go. Heck, I’ll be excited when it is ready to go!

Anyway . . . Edward and I had a therapy session today . . .

At the end of the last session, Edward invited me to write a letter to my parents telling them how my life is currently being affected by the poor quality of the attention they gave me during my childhood . . . especially how I feel a compulsion to gain the attention of men . . . any man . . . any type of attention, healthy or destructive . . .

I struggled with doing the homework . . . I procrastinated and procrastinated because I couldn’t figure out what to say. And, I’ve been in a depressive slump for the last couple of weeks. I don’t know what is wrong . . . I don’t know what triggered the slump. I’ve been struggling under the weight of this vague “bad” feeling. I’m back in that stupid hopeless space.

I don’t want to admit to Edward that I’m back in the hopeless space . . . he has heard me say that so many times . . . I don’t want to admit to myself that I’m back in that dark place. I didn’t send him a status report before this session because I didn’t want to fake being in an upbeat place, but I didn’t want to admit to what I really am feeling. Plus, I had this little sliver of hope that I would somehow start feeling better in the days before – or at least in the hours before – the session.

But, that didn’t happen. I showed up for the session still in that heavy, dark place.

However, I did make some progress on the homework in the “eleventh hour”. In the ten minutes before I left the house to drive to Edward’s office, I did some of the assignment on my digital tablet. Then, while I was sitting in the waiting room, waiting for Edward to come down to get me, I finished it on the tablet.

I have to admit that I didn’t put much effort and care into the homework assignment . . . I just wrote something . . . anything . . . just to start to find the words that might begin to express how my current life is being affected by my parents’ parenting style. It’s the best I have to offer right now. I hope it is good enough to accomplish what Edward wanted it to accomplish.

When Edward came down the stairs, I shut down my tablet and dumped the tablet and my full-sized keyboard into my “purse” (really a big canvas bag). Edward was curious about the keyboard sticking out my bag . . . and I explained that I had been finishing up my homework assignment and that I don’t have a travel-sized keyboard, so I have to lug around the full-size keyboard . . . but, it works . . . he laughed a little . . .

We headed upstairs, went through our usual greeting routine and settled into our respective seats . . .


Edward: How are you today?

Me: I’m mellow . . . I’ve been busy doing “stuff” . . . I’m excited about my piano being tuned tomorrow . . . we get to start using it for lessons soon . . . the kids are excited.

Edward: That is exciting!

Me: Other than that, not much else has been happening beyond the normal day-to-day stuff. Oh, well . . . I guess there is the stuff about my piano student, the cop . . . James . . . concerning the “touch” issue . . .

Edward: Tell me about that! I got your brief email about it, but I’d like to hear it from you in person . . .

Me: Well, when he came into the studio, I was with another student. The other student and her mom were slow to pack up their stuff to leave, so they were still packing when I started my lesson with James. So, I couldn’t really say anything to him at that point. Then, my mom and niece were due to come into the studio at the time I was scheduled to end my lesson with James, so the only opportunity I had to bring it up to him was in the middle of the lesson.

I don’t like to use lesson time to deal with administrative stuff, but I didn’t have much choice on the matter . . . his daughter wasn’t with him . . . I had to bring it up when I had the chance.

Anyway, when there was a pause in the lesson, I asked if I could talk to him about something not related to music . . . he said, “Sure!”

[Continued in the next post . . . ]

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