LET IT SHINE
“No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light.”
As much as I hate admitting it, I do go on autopilot every once in a while.
My fingers rely on pure muscle memory while my mind wanders, usually to a frequently envisioned place where I am sitting in silence, reading, retired in an Eames chair occupying the living room of a mid-century modern Palm Springs estate. Wordlessly, my boyfriend and equally mute dog do other quiet activities, preferably far away from me, at the other end of the house.
Meanwhile, in reality, it’s a busy night where voluminous decibels of clinking cutlery, clanking chitchat and clunking children are repeatedly raping my ear holes. Aurally, it’s the kind of gross groping I can endure only by going through a sequence of very practiced motions.
I think nobody is listening.
I justify a half-hearted performance because nobody can possibly be listening in all this noise.
These are the nights that beaming couples on their 50th anniversaries, come up to say thank you for making our evening so special.
These are the nights that joyful families celebrating birthdays and graduations ask for my weekly schedule so they can come hear me again.
These are the nights that bashful kids on tiptoes put crushed bills from their parents into my jar and tell me that they too play the piano, but not quite so good.
These are the nights that teary-eyed women and men take the time to let me know that their dad/mom/grandpa/aunt used to play that song when they were growing up and oh! how it brought back such fond memories.
These are the nights I am told again and again that I sound amazing and that I am uniquely talented.
These are the nights that I am also left with nothing to say and plenty to question.
Is my light turned on even when I think it isn’t? Can others see it when I do not see it myself? Am I on my very public stand as a foolish or wise virgin? Will I be asleep and dreaming again when I am judged? Or will I be better prepared tomorrow with oil in my lamp to shine, not just brightly with certainty and clarity, but with alert honesty?