I stopped playing the piano in 2006.
In May of 2021, with a lot of encouragement from The Gentleman, I purchased a fairly entry-level digital instrument, and at the beginning of July I started taking lessons again.
Today, I did something I have literally never done before: I took a video of myself playing something.
In 2006, when I stopped playing, iPhones didn’t exist yet. My cell phone was a Nokia candybar, and it didn’t (as best I remember) take pictures at all. I was about a year away from my first phone that had a camera on it. Until today, I had literally never seen myself play the piano before.
I didn’t know that yeah – I really do have pudgy little hands, but that doesn’t mean they’re not expressive when I play. I didn’t realize you can watch me breathe with the music – which is indicative of how long I played, and something I appear to just *do* now, instead of thinking about. I didn’t realize my wrists moved so fluidly, even on a piece without a ton of hand/wrist movement in it.
It’s super weird too, to see myself in a recording. I’m not usually in videos!
But I’m glad I did it. If nothing else, it’s documentation of where I am after two lessons and about two months of dicking around with an instrument that was more or less my identity as a younger person. Often, playing is weird, but it feels good too, even if I’m not actually any good at it right now. Maybe I’ve finally grown up enough to be able to find joy in doing something without having to be good at it first.
(I mean, that’s a stretch, but I can hope, right?)