Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I Have a Dream

Actually, I have two. First, I want to become a Rockette. Second, I want to play the piano.

Sometimes I practice my kicks in my Bodyattack class. I can kick as high as Lori (my instructor, FYI), so I'm close to a professional's ability to kick. But, I hear the Rockette scouts don't usually cast gals approaching age forty, so maybe my Rockette ship has sailed?

Let me be realistic: I didn't land a spot in the chorus in our community's production of Annie, so my common sense tells me the theatre and dance aren't my gifts. And, sometimes, dreams are born to stay dreams. This rationale then moves me to my second dream: playing the piano.

I took years of lessons from old, grouchy--but talented--Ben. I played scales. I played "Fur Elise," and lied to his face about my practicing every day. I also helped myself to Ben's Saltines and hid his Marlboro Reds in the garbage while my brother was in his lesson. Then I quit piano, committing the biggest mistake in my life (there are many more, really).

When I turned eighteen and received my patriarchal blessing, one of the Lord's suggestions was that I enlarge my musical talents. Of course, at the time, I thought, too late, damage done. But as I've repeated the cycle of forcing my children to take piano, I have realized that I can fulfill this blessing through my children. I sit with my homies, most days, and make them play songs like "The Pink Panther" and 'Tingalayo" over and over again, and then I tell them they can never be piano dropouts. They hate me for it, but I tell them that it's my job to help them learn to play, my patriarchal blessing says so. The Lord says so.

But then, maybe that's not really what the Lord meant. Maybe He really wants ME to finish what I started. With that thought, I practice, most days, beginning my practice on my knees. You stink at piano, I think to myself as I struggle through playing "This Is My Beloved Son." He couldn't have meant for you to learn now, when you're close to forty and so much slower at learning new things. My thoughts continue, You'll never play like Verna, the ward organist. Just give up, you crazy lady. But I don't.