By Leah Silverman

October 10, 2016


When Rachmaninoff swallows my mother, I no longer know the woman who gleefully embellishes with staccato flourishes nursery rhymes and schoolyard chants and ditties of her own that make us run run run through the living room dining room kitchen. Instead there’s a pianist sitting on the bench of my mother’s battered black baby grand, sinking into storms of chords and crescendos that swell from a single tear, fighting futilely to master a brilliance she insists she’ll never attain. Her fingers skim the ivory and black, hopping through his time and hers, pouncing on tempests, tangling with trauma that defines her, reduces her, expands her to free storms from the strings and her heart from sedation.

Photo "The Pianist" provided by Bryan Ong via Flickr's Creative Commons licence.

Comments (15) - Post a Comment
...tangling with trauma that defines her, reduces her,expands her to free storms from the strings and her heart from sedation.- This line paints a portrait of trauma that shows beauty in it's darkness. Thank you.
Lynda at 8:20am EDT - October 10, 2016
The lightheartedness and the torment-there's a beautiful balance here. Thank you.
Sue at 8:36am EDT - October 10, 2016
Oh Leah, this is amazing!! I'm just transported into your memories and wound 'round with all the imagery.
Jennifer Sekella at 10:08am EDT - October 10, 2016
Beautiful word painting. Puts me right there.
Ben at 10:28am EDT - October 10, 2016
"...trauma that defines her, reduces her, expands her to free storms from the strings and HER HEART FROM SEDATION." (My caps.) Oh, heaven. what a concerto. You have a pretty good idea of what freedom means. This is a gut-wrenching, beautiful piece. I love it.
Tom Odendahl at 10:54am EDT - October 10, 2016
Absolutely brilliant, Leah. As Ben said, a "word painting" with great emotional depth. Bravo!
Suzanne Pfeffer at 3:54pm EDT - October 10, 2016
So powerful, so beautifully written, Leah. You sweep us away with the eloquence of your words. I'm so happy to see your writing! Give us more!!
Judy Crosby at 6:27pm EDT - October 10, 2016
I don't know what amazes and thrills more. Your story that conjures this painting of passion or the mixed media collage I know burns inside of you to express this memory moment. So beautiful!
Fran Gafvert at 12:26am EDT - October 11, 2016
I've read this so many times, both to enjoy it again and to try and figure some uber-articulate way to respond to it. I've succeeded with the former but not with the latter, and so I'll simply say that I love this racing, magnificent piece. Thank you!
Emily at 6:26pm EDT - October 12, 2016
Oh Leah, I feel the "storms of chords" from this is a Beautiful Thing...well done!
Melanie Mitchell at 8:11am EDT - October 14, 2016
Much gratitude and many thanks to all of you for taking the time to read and comment on my work. My heart is full.
Leah Silverman at 4:56pm EDT - October 16, 2016
Just the first line! Swallowed ME! and the contrasts between the mother of school yard chants, and tangling tempests! free storms and heart from sedation! absolutely riveting!
Emily Sinagra at 9:09pm EDT - October 21, 2016
I'm humbled and honored by your comments, Emily. Thank you.
Leah Silverman at 10:08pm EDT - October 21, 2016
I love this piece. Swept away...
Anne Anthony at 11:47am EDT - October 30, 2016
Many thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Anne.
Leah Silverman at 11:58am EDT - October 30, 2016

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