...is not to return.
So, I existed in a sort of limbo.
To some extent, I knew that would be the case. I knew I'd hibernate, assimilate everything, and then, move onward.
Sometimes, though, it just doesn't go quite according to the script as I've written it.
But the shift has come, finally. I know something's going on, and it's sending roots and tendrils into every part of my life.
I have a piano. I'm sure a lot of people have a piano, but the thing here is that I have a piano. And I've had a piano for about four years.
I'm a little afraid of it, this bit of mahogany beauty and sound, this glorious construction of wood and things that might possibly create music.
Growing up, there were two things I wanted: I wanted music lessons and I wanted dance lessons. I finally managed to wangle the dance lessons when I was able to get into the modern dance program in school (it was free, so there was no stopping me once I'd passed the audition), and when I had a job, I was able to pay for the ballet lessons I'd always coveted.
But music remained out of my reach. I couldn't afford an instrument, let alone lessons. And I really wanted to play the piano (or the drums. If you dream, dream big, right?).
Fifty/fifty, I figured. I'd managed fifty percent of what I wanted and I'd managed it on my own, which given what I was up against, wasn't bad.
So, I let it go.
Music lessons are part of the curriculum at the elementary the kids attended, and for a total of four years, I listened to both of them honking and wheezing away on the clarinet (the son actually enjoyed it and got rather good). But they more I listened to them complain, the more I thought (but never spoke) about how much I'd have given for the opportunity. It is the way of things, I suppose.
Then out of the blue, several years ago, my mother-in-law announced she was giving me a piano for my birthday. There was an ulterior motive involved, of course, and it was that I should start the children on piano lessons.
There is neither interest on the kids' part nor time for piano lessons. Both of them have heavy academic loads and the daughter plays basketball and is part of the team for the county Pentathlon while the son is in the group that produces all the school news videos. And they evidently feel that the clarinet fed the need for musical education.
So the piano sits, a little reproachfully, where I occasionally run my fingers over the keys and cringe at my inability to bring anything but discordance from it.
The tuner is coming again.
I have a piano teacher.
Sometimes I'm a little afraid of my object of desire, but I can be persuaded to commit.
I feel the shift.
I have a camera. I'm sure a lot of people have a camera, but the thing here is that I bought myself my first real camera about three years ago, a gorgeous Nikon that sits like it belongs in my hand. I decided that I had to stop making do with the little point and shoots that people either passed on to me or gave me as a gift. So I closed my eyes to the cost and I bought myself a real camera, and I use it and I love it, but I could use it so much better than I do.
In March, for the first time in years, I'm taking a class, going to a workshop in San Diego to learn about photographing small things. I like photographing small things, but I'm not terribly good at it. I like my camera but I need to know it better, and I need to refresh a good deal about taking photographs properly and not lazily. I need to expand my skills, but the need is the echo of the desire.
It's what I've been expecting. And it's finally happening.
I've been dreaming vividly of strange things, of things that not only might be, but things that could be.
Anything can happen.
And if past experience is any indication, it will.
Go listen to some good music: "Prime Mover" from the album Hold Your Fire by Rush. I haven't been this excited in awhile. And travel? Oh, there will be travel. Nothing can stop me now. Well, a lot can stop me now, which doesn't mean that I'm in the mood to let it. Year of the Tiger.