A rush whirls through the last of the leaves and some racket batters the house…it sounds like the wind is fixing to howl all night but in a couple of hours the clouds clear and the heat rising lifts the wind up and away. Ah the drowsiness of Chopin’s Nocturne No. 2. My head drops slowly despite the quick pace of feet skittering down the hallway, an easing into sleep – deliberate and allowed by no authority but the play of sounds putting meaning back to work.
How does the young pianist find a piano on which to practice, a matter of circumstances, of privilege? There’s a ferocity that is rarely let loose in Chopin, wasted in Paris with his heart on a horse back to Poland. A ferocity that eats one up inside, or else it seeps into the fingers changing the weight on the keys…often so softly that even silence has to listen.
The girls I dated in college thought I was rich until they visited my parents’ house and saw first-hand the middle-class ascending stuck in a low gear still trying to make it up the next hill, and they took their wigs and their booty elsewhere.
To nap, perchance to dream of a flush bird singing on its perch whilst looking in its mirror, ecstatic and distracted by its own song, an easy prey.
This is a perfect dream. Nothing can wake me from this perfect dream. Not even the smell of dinner…
Then Spotify shuffles to Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. Boisterous. The cat stirs and stretches. One nap over as another just begins like that – the note held loud and long as the little voices reverberate and raise a shout that falls asleep as the music plays on into the night forgotten. The horse with Chopin’s heart rides on, purring.