Music has been an important part of my life since I was six. Oh, I don’t mean that it was just there as background in a family setting. Although that was certainly true. I mean that it was an intrinsic part of my life as a person from the time of my first piano lessons with my Grandmother as teacher to my continuing years to the present.

I miss those years when I could play even if badly. But my fingers worked and my heart would resonate with the sounds the piano brought forth. It was magical. There wasn’t a time I could simply walk past a piano without desiring to touch the keys and sit to play. I literally felt one with the instrument. And the music of the composers came alive and I believed they could hear and approved.

Perhaps that’s all fancy yet I felt it keenly then. I still do. What changed was the passage of youth giving place to the skilled touch of aging. Arthritis took its toll and the fingers no longer worked as they once did.

I am not, nor have I ever been, angry that I can no longer play. I am sad, and I get frustrated in my attempts to eke out a composition a note or two at a time. I am listening to Bach’s Goldberg Variations as I sit at the computer. What a wonderful performance. I am taken back and my hands still move to the rhythm of various works and in my mind I play them flawlessly. Sometimes, too, in my dreams I still compose major works and envision myself playing skillfully. There are no limits there.

Alas! But I am grateful that I once played…and well. Not the caliber of the giants of the keyboard but well, nevertheless, for myself and friends. I miss the excitement of recitals and producing new compositions. I used to love to hand write my works. There was something so familiar, so connected with the keys, paper, pen and themes that flowed. It was mesmerizing. It was just plain rewarding.

How did I move on? I turned to writing as an outlet for my creative side. It is very much like composing. The one difference is that I use a computer since my ability to write by hand is clearly a problem. Even I can’t always read my own handwriting! Bummer!

But, thanks be to God, He provided a way, and I moved from piano to novels. Both have brought me joy and happiness to share.