I dragged a piano with me all over the country – literally. There was nothing particularly special about the piano except that it was my piano and I loved to play it. I am not particularly talented. I can’t play by ear. I have to practice a lot and, even then, I’m not a good accompanist or performer. I just enjoy it. The concentration it requires of me drives out any thoughts, so it is a bit of a meditative medium that also happens to include music. It is responsive to my moods and can respond to my fury or frustration and slowly transform and mellow it–or laugh along with my joy. And so, I dragged it from place to place.

Pianos are heavy. And take up space. And cost money to move, even if it is “just” the cost of renting a U-Haul.

Eventually, I ran out. I ran out of energy and space and money. I gave my piano away. I told myself that I was becoming a person who was lightweight and mobile and carefree. I have always moved. It is in my nature.

With this recent move, I had major anxiety thinking about buying a home. A home would be kind of permanent. It would be settling down. It made the most economic and autonomy sense, but, what if I wanted to move?

I bought the great little house. It’s been about a year now.

Yesterday, I bought a used piano, and it was delivered today. Pianos are heavy and don’t pack into cardboard boxes. If you want to move, they require planning, decisions.

But, oh! they invite you to sit
and pour yourself into their keys and
hear the sounds of your soul.

Rippling Rainbows

Things have not gotten better. In fact, improbably and unexpectedly, the hits have kept coming. Like dominos. I thought we were at the end of the set, but apparently not.

I slept well last night, but woke up with a mind still trying to decipher the riddle of how things were continuing to get worse. By the time I arrived at the pool to swim laps, my anxiety was ramping up enough that I was not sure I could swim. Irregular breathing and a racing heart make carefully timed breath-taking somewhat difficult. But, I continued on and hoped for the best.

Usually, swimming is almost hypnotic for me. The rhythm of my strokes, seeing my own arm curve out of the water, catching a glimpse of other arms curling back down to the surface or pushing through the bottom of an arc. The changing patterns of light on the bottom of the pool. The swell as an adjacent swimmer flips the turn. Either the ambient sounds muffled by the water in my ears or my immersion into the music coming through my earbuds. Sometimes, I have to consciously remember not to close my eyes, consciously remember to turn my head to take a breath (probably because I mostly breathe on every other stroke right now rather than pushing through to air hunger).

Not this morning. This morning, I could not compartmentalize.

I kept swimming. But, it made me frustrated and sad. I was looking forward to relief from the mental and emotional searching.

And, then

I noticed the sun was rising. I think today must have been my first day swimming at this pool in which they opened up the east-facing sidewall. It was glorious. With each breath, I marveled that I could see the sun peeking through the trees. With each lap, I noted its full circle becoming more visible. At that end of the pool, rainbows began to ripple low in the lane next to me.

On the sun-kissed turns, I did not hurry my own rotation. (I have not returned to flip turns, myself, just yet.)

It did not calm my anxiety, but it distracted me just a tiny bit and, still, it was