One of the regrets I have is that I didn’t play the little Fauré song, the Chançon (Romance, really) Sans Paroles, on the piano at our Baccalaureate in high school on that sun- and lilac-struck May evening forty years ago, with doors wide open to the summer, future, life itself. I was embarrassed, cowardly, whatever. I chose not to play the song. And I have heard it playing in my heart since then, year after year, that lost chance, lost chord, last evening of the last month on which I might have proved my worth.
It was little enough, that omission, but looms large in the story of my life the way the lost things do. Things not said, right moments passed, something forever lost and past and gone.
And now, this distant May, I’m getting rid of the sheet music, the Fauré, along with my piano. It will not play again, can’t be repaired. It is foreverafter a chançon not only without words, but without notes as well. Without the very song.
And I regret the piano, too. That I’ll no longer be a person with a fossil fish on her piano, as I loved to be; that I will never after all learn all the Beethoven sonatas as I once promised myself I would, along with learning to bake bread. One of two things I learned. The other—maybe in a different lifetime. Maybe the one in which I tell myself I’ll play viola/oboe/French horn at the Met, I’ll be a double bass player in long black skirt with gypsy bangles on my wrist, I’ll be fearless and grand and won’t look back.
For now, though, I don’t have the words to say what might have been. Or what might be, in the space cleared by the silent piano.
image: Piano Keyboard