I have, somewhat oddly for me, been playing a lot of music. It’s not that I never play music, I just don’t usually do it this much. It’s funny, because I don’t pretend to be in the least bit good at it.
My mother came from a very musical family. Her grandfather was a cabinet-maker and violin maker. Her uncle inherited the business and he also played in the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. My sister and I were given lessons in piano and violin as a matter of course. Although I wasn’t exactly talentless as a musician, I did not stand out in any way. I dropped the violin, but continued to play the piano until I went away to college. Ever since college, I have regretted not sticking with the violin for no other reason than it is more portable than a piano. Essentially, ever after leaving my parents house, I didn’t play any music for over thirty years.
About a year and a half ago, I was diagnosed with depression. It probably had been creeping up on me for a year or two. I hit a very low point during the spring before last. When I started to feel better, I went and bought myself a keyboard. I’d been wanting one for decades, however, I felt like I wasn’t good enough to deserve one. It’s the sort of self-denial that helped drive me into a depression in the first place.
When I first started to seek help for my depression, many therapists responded with suggestions like I go to the gym or throw myself into work. I felt so frustrated hearing these kinds of suggestions because I felt that it was exactly that sort of puritanical running on the treadmill, both literally and figuratively, that had gotten me into that state in the first place.
Buying the keyboard was a much mentally healthier thing for me to do than exercise or work. The funny thing is because I am not very good it brings out the fact that I’m only doing it for myself. I’m not trying to please anyone or achieve anything. I just do it because it’s fun.
Ever since I bought it, I play a little bit all the time, but sometimes I go on binges. I’ve been on one of those binges, playing constantly, for the past couple of weeks. I suspect my neighbors, if they knew, would be relieved that I bought an electric keyboard instead of an acoustic piano.