Growing up, I was told repeatedly that my father played the piano like a professional, describing the joy he felt and how he managed to transmit his joy to anyone who heard him.
I have the abiding image of him in his army uniform, huge boots beating the floor in time with the music. Unfortunately, I never met him, as he was lost in the war when I was a baby, but I wish so much that I had.
I have been told that I am just like him. He was tall and liked to build and mend things, always good with his hands with unending patience. Sounds just like me!
The one thing I didn’t get was his talent on the piano. I know it is inside me somewhere, for I can feel it and sometimes the feeling is so strong, I think I could sit down at a piano and miraculously start playing. But with the best will in the world, I can’t, and is one of the strongest regrets in my life.
Music has always been my passion and my inspiration, and some of my favourite pieces are piano concertos. I still wish I could learn how to play, even now, at 72 years old.
I did try to learn when I was younger. I learned how to read music and could play simple tunes with my right hand. But my brain drew the line at both hands on the keys, refusing to let my right hand play the different notes. I am one of those people they say couldn’t walk and chew gum, and I suppose I am. That party game where you try to pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time is impossible for me. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Just try it and see how hard it is.
In my life, I have encountered many things I wanted to learn but had to walk away from, much to my disappointment. My ego has been subjected to so much frustration during my life, and even though I eventually have to give up on things, the desire remains.
I have always insisted that you should be able to learn anything, given the right instruction and determination. However, I have discovered it isn’t possible, and have had to admit defeat on so many occasions.
I am sorry that I never met my father, but sadder still that I cannot play the piano as he did.
I am sorry dad, I did try…