My hands gently caress the keys, curling and twisting around them as I wait to play. I feel the cold, uneven, sleek surface. I press down on one key and a high pitched note sings from the back. I know what I can’t see is even more beautiful than what I can. Behind the curtain of painted black spruce are mallets playfully tinging against tightly pulled strings. If these strings are stroked, they will let out a small cry, but not big enough for anyone to hear. The mallets that lie beneath the strings linger, waiting for someone to sit down so they can spring to life. These implements work together to create one of the most passionate instruments known to man: the piano.
I close my eyes and wait. I wait until I breathe the same breath as the piano, until it tells me it’s ready, until I am one with it. My foot graces the cool, lustrous pedal below me. It knows what I want to do. The piano is the master, and I am the apprentice. It teaches me how to glide across the keys so that the right melody emerges, how to correctly press down on the pedal so that the music that plays sweeps across the rooms and dances like Cinderella into everyone’s ears.
Finally, the piano whispers to me, I’m ready. I open my eyes and look upon the beautiful instrument sitting before me, completely in my control, and I’m off! As my fingers lace through the black and white keys and my foot presses passionately on the pedal, I can hear the music I so desire to hear, swimming through the air like a fish going downstream. I am not the one making this beautiful music, though; it is the piano who paints me the picture of how it should be played. The piano lives vicariously through me, telling me what it wants me to play, guiding my fingers through the keys.
As I play the final chord and slide my foot off of the pedal, the piano breathes its final breath, and we are no longer intertwined. We go our separate ways and once again, the keys, strings, and mallets wait for another vulnerable person to come along so it can take him under its wing and show him the delicate beauty that is the piano.