Life’s Stage

A huge wooden piano sits stoically among the towering cedars. Its origin unknown but its age far surpasses the trees that have formed a natural amphitheater around it. Lush grass forms a soft stage and absorbs any music brought forth from the piano.

Small and tender feet propel a small boy towards the looming bench. Tentatively he climbs up and reaches a chubby finger out to strike one of the dully worn bars of ivory. A single note rings purely into the air and  encourages the slight child to use every finger to coax different combinations to connect with the music of his heart.

Time passes, fingers mature and harmonies trickle playfully through the air amid the congregation of trees. The kinship between the music and the heart of the man become one. Each piece tumbles into the next in expressions of joy, love, sadness, frustration and pensiveness. Expression upon expression is brought forth from the timeless piano as grains of moments descend through the unseen hourglass that keeps time for the young man. As each span of time is played through the keyboard, new trees begin to push through the earth and flowers begin to unfurl encouraged to life through the music.

A finger stumbles and a wrong note collides into the harmony. The man attempts to adjust his fingers to beguile this incorrect sound to blend in with the music of his heart, but it lacks sense and rhythm. He’s played this melody before with no mistakes and is shaken by the defective expression of his heart. Pursuing after the perverse tones, he continues to force it to make sense; to align with his expression. Shoulders begin to slump in depression with the desolate music and the trees seems to crowd the tones out by their perceived oppression on the small stage.

In a moment of complete bewilderment of his faulty heart’s articulation, he shoves himself away from the aged  keyboard and the music stops. For just a moment the very air around the man pauses and the trees seem to catch their breath as they wait for the keys to be struck in music again. Shoving himself away from the bench, he simply walks away. The silence left behind is louder than the music he had played through the years. The trees draw their branches close to their trunks in defense of the silence.

Three fragile white flowers bloom in the footprint of the man who left the stage in memory of the melodies that will haunt the winds that swirl across the stage of life.

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7 replies

  1. Oh my. I am trying to take this in, to read it and re-read it and let it sit on my heart.

    Those white flowers are stronger than they appear and the words you have given us to describe how you are feeling, how those feelings and morph day after day, with each new sunrise, was so touching and phenomenal that I am speechless. Truly.

    I am so sad that he couldn’t “just play” “rearrange the melody” instead of just stopping the music.

    MY hope is just that you hear your own soft notes building toward a gorgeous chorus, a song you always play with love, joy and peace in your heart.


  2. That was a beautiful message to me that spoke of the disappointment in my imperfect creations, whose existence depend on my courage with the process of its birth, as my vision waits for the storms to clear.
    Don’t know where that came from!

  3. Oh my gosh I need to sit with this for a few moments and then read it over and over again. What an amazing piece. I am in awe of the way you wrote from so deeply within your heart. Beautiful, beautiful, but of course, I wish you did not have to have this new sad place to write from. Always here, love you.

  4. The imagery, the voice. Amazing. I, too, need to read this again. I feel the shock, the grief, the unknowing stage you’ve depicted. Such a beautiful vignette.

  5. The imagery, the voice. Amazing. I, too, need to read this again. I feel the shock, the grief, the unknowing stage you’ve depicted. Such a beautiful vignette.

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