Space for another piano

Twenty years ago, I bought a beautiful old baby grand piano. It has a soft, rich voice. I’ve enjoyed playing it. “Playing” being the appropriate description of what I do with the piano. I sit down to play and I never know what the music will be.  I don’t follow music well or stay true to what is written. I could never color inside the lines, either. People say I play by ear; but I usually have no idea what it will sound like until it’s been played. The sounds that come out of it are always beautiful. The notes or combination of keys my fingers depress doesn’t matter. It could be 4 or 5 consecutive keys, and often is; and it still sounds amazing (to me). 
This piano has been my therapist; my outlet for venting frustration, working through confusion, anger, joy, boredom, and my expressing my need for creativity.
Last week, Anastasia and I decided to change the look of the décor in our living room. We’ve really got to cut back on watching HGTV. The baby grand was so imposing and commanding, we decided to replace it with something smaller, perhaps an upright piano. An upright is a grand with the strings vertical instead of horizontal. It’s the one with the really high cabinet. It is a different look and a similar sound. In my 20’s I’d purchased an upright grand in Chicago. It was in my first apartment as a fledgling adult. Good memories. I was looking forward to the change. We put my old therapy piano on Craigslist and within a couple of days, it sold. It would be really gone in a couple of days.
Anastasia and I visited the piano store where I had purchased my old confidante. We were sure we would easily find and buy its replacement. Nothing. There were no upright grands in our price range that we liked. I played spinets: didn’t like the way they sounded. I tried electric keyboards: didn’t like the way the felt or sounded. 
I was quickly sliding into sellers remorse. The movers were coming and I was going to be piano-less. What was I to do?
A client called to schedule a PetMassageTM for her puggle and since she was in town and lived 60 miles away, we scheduled for her to bring her dog in that same evening. With all the road construction, she was delayed. So, while I was waiting for her I browsed through the pianos for sale page on Craigslist. 
It was a rescue 
There, I happened to find an advert for a baby grand that had been posted just a couple of hours earlier. It was free. There must be a catch. I called, talked to the owner, and arranged to see it that evening. As soon as the PetMassageTM session was complete, Anastasia and I drove over to see this free grand piano. Its cabinet was beautiful. There were some minor nicks and scratches from movers’ straps. Parts of it were propped up against the wall and small pieces of hardware were stashed in the bench. It was horribly out of tune. But every one of the keys felt good and responsive. I liked it. The owner got it for free and his young kids weren’t interested in it. It just wasn’t wanted. It was a rescue piano. Aw.
So I said I’d take it. But it had to be out by 3 pm the next day. 
On the way home, I made one phone call. I left a text message with a piano mover and trusted. By mid morning, everything was scheduled. And at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, the newer, smaller, grand was in the van and by 4 pm, was set up in the same place as the old one. The movers carried the old piano into our dining room. We were temporarily a two piano home.
The next morning, my old mahogany friend was packed up, hoisted onto a truck, and driven away. We examined the new rescue and realized that we had found a real gem. Our piano tuner was called and we scheduled him to put it in playing condition. Anastasia and I took the dogs for a walk and giggled about our new treasure. We met a new neighbor and shared our good news with him. It turns our he is a woodworker and furniture refinisher. The piano will be completely repaired within a week.
This or something better

When I first sat down to write about this, I thought I would be sharing my story with the theme of creating a space for something new to come to you. It was to be a true story that would be inspirational; an example of releasing and trusting. 
You can’t always get what you want; if you try some time, you get what you need.

What it is really about is accepting and adapting to the flow. We didn’t get the size, shape, and style I thought I wanted. We got something better. The new baby grand’s smaller, more delicate profile allowed us to rearrange the furniture. We have our new look; and it’s better than ever!
In a PetMassageTM we have expectations for what we think we want to accomplish. It’s rare when expectations match with reality. In a PetMassageTM we must remain open to accepting and adapting to the dog’s flow. The dogs don’t get what we want. They get something better.

1 Comment

  1. Mary Kay on August 3, 2016 at 6:20 PM

    Oh my gosh! What a fabulous story! So very meaningful. Thank you Jonathan, and so happy for you and your Arfirminator! Love you both so much!

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