Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Action!: My memoirs.

Last week I shared excerpts from my Morning Pages (see: Action!: Morning Pages). Referring again to my post Writing and more writingtoday I am sharing an entry from my memoirs. I selected a memory quite fitting for this time of year...

The Christmas during my first-grade year was magical. It started with our Christmas tree... a sagebrush  flocked with fake snow and decorated simply with blue bulbs. A rotating tri-colored light shone on the tree from the floor. I think it was the most beautiful memorable tree we ever had. (One year my dad found branches of a silver tinsel tree at the dump. He drilled holes into a broomstick and poked those hideous branches in. That tree was memorable too, but not beautiful.)

For this, my first-grade Christmas, I told Santa I wanted a toy piano. I envisioned the small kind, that sat almost flat on the floor with a few little plastic keys to go "plink, plink, plink" but still... it was a piano, and I wanted one.  

When Christmas Eve arrived, all eight of us children tried to sleep in the large bedroom at the opposite end of the apartment from the living room where Santa would place our gifts. My twelve-year-old brother, Jay, asked me what I hoped Santa would bring for me and I responded, "A toy piano." And he asked, "A grand piano?" I didn't understand what he meant, so he explained by outlining the shape of a grand piano in the air, his finger tracing the design in the moonlight coming through the window.

I recognized the shape, and realized that would be the most wonderful piano in the world! A grand piano! But I was deeply saddened... I had not asked Santa for a specific piano. Simply a piano. And now it was too late to clarify. I fell asleep both anxious and mournful.

Christmas morning I hurried into the living room, and there, across from the snow flocked sagebrush and next to my stocking bulging with an orange in the toe, was a black lacquer child-sized grand piano. It stood off the floor, with a matching bench for me to sit on. The back lifted up, just like a real grand piano, and I could play songs on it, not just tap a few little plastic keys.  

It was magic. Somehow Santa (and my brother) knew I really wanted the most wonderful piano of all.

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