Five doctors in Italy have died from CoVid 19, the Corona virus. Five doctors. The people we need the most, right now.
Tonight I played the piano. Really played. Attentive to every nuance, every note, each phrase, the placement of my fingers, the feel of each key. The way I used to. Today, I needed it. To block out virus, and politics, danger and desperation. Everything. At the last note of each piece — mostly Chopin and Mendelssohn this evening — I waited, remembering.
When you, Stasia and Alex, would go to bed, usually on a school night — can it really be that many years ago? — I would play the piano. The only time of day that was mine. The only time of any day when I could do something that just spoke to me, only to me, in the language I so needed to hear.
And at the end of each piece, as the last note or chord lingered, reminding us of what had just transpired, if the music had also spoken to you, Stasia, out of the darkened hallway I would hear a tiny, timid voice:
Our favorite word, sculpted from the sudden silence. Your favorite, because I always gave you what you wanted, “encore.” More. And mine, because music is a story that I gave to you both, my story, from my soul to yours, and your one perfect word said all that I needed to hear.
I hope that, after this tenuous, tumultuous time of pandemic and uncertainty, life always gives you ‘encore.’