Wednesday, May 27, 2009

So We Practice

Sounds, smells and feelings, laid down in memory as a child, are so powerful.

A whiff of eau de cologne can evoke a strong memory of Oma's handkerchief and Polo peppermints and lipstick the inside of Mum's purse. Paraffin lighter fuel--that would be Mum's apron pocket!

I have always loved listening to a piano being practiced and I think it goes back to happy summer days in Holland as a child, at Oma's. I would sometimes press against the screened window in the long, dark back room of her second storey flat, listening and looking for fascinating glimpses of the lives of people I would never know; the people that lived in the flats bordering on the courtyard. The old, tall Dutch houses created a barrier from the city sounds of traffic and trams, and made the sounds from within the courtyard echo louder : The wind in the trees, snatches of conversation, the chirping of birds; someone behind an open garden door practicing the piano...

So now, when I hear my granddaughters downstairs practicing their piano, I often cannot resist the urge to slip down and sit on the stairs. I listen with all the appreciation of a season ticket holder and applaud their efforts with enthusiasm.

They were practicing a duet tonight; sisters, so alike in appearance and as close as peas in a pod. They are like wind and fire, these two, with personalities as different as their features are alike, but they love one another fiercely.

I listen to them learning the duet. They go over and over the first few bars. Tiffany-Amber is relaxed and laughing. Music comes easily to her ear, if not her eye. Victoria is intently concentrating on the music. Their differences so evident. I love watching them as well as listening.

They make mistakes and stop, starting over and persevering, working together and yet having fun.

I think of how much their practice reflects life. We practice. If we're wise we read the music and we get the first few bars down pat after a while. We go further and clumsily mess up again, our fingers hitting wrong notes or with the wrong timing. We try over and over again, getting further and further along in the score.

And then, if all of the right ingredients are there: the right music, practice, and perseverance, Life infuses our fingers and a beautiful melody from another Kingdom can be heard.

2 Timothy 2:14-15 (The Message)
14-15Repeat these basic essentials over and over to God's people. Warn them before God against pious nitpicking, which chips away at the faith. It just wears everyone out. Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won't be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple.


Night Owl said...

Wow, your piano is really out of tune. hehehe :)
Anyway, that was lovely. It made me smile from ear to ear. :D
Victoria has it memorized? Wow. :)
I think, now switch parts! (It's SO wonderful that they learn duets together - *high fives* from me!) :)
Keep it up, Victoria and Tiffany-Amber. :)

Night Owl said...

(and I guess, keep it up, everyone!)

Belinda said...

Thanks for the encouragement Night Owl. Is the piano really out of tune? Yikes, I am so glad you told us. That shows how bad my ear is! :)
Switching parts is such a great idea. They have more to learn of their own parts first though.
I will tell them what Night Owl said.
I had their permission to post the video. One day they may wonder what they were thinking!

Brave Raven said...

Be glad they weren't playing "The Scary Song." One time Paul came down and asked them to stop and play something more pleasant. Perhaps they save that torturous piece exclusively for me!

Marian den Boer said...

Your writing style is like music.

Belinda said...

Hey Brave Raven, Some music a grandmother may be biased about! :)

And Marian, THANK YOU, so much. But now, I'm wondering about what kind of music. Haha! :)

Marian den Boer said...

Enthralling of course.

Angcat said...

That was absolutely beautiful. I have teary eyes and a full heart.

Children make the best music of all.