Brick walls

When God slams a door

Everyone always said that when God shuts a door, somewhere He opens a window. That is really just a line from the film Sound of Music. It’s not a bible verse.  It is repeated by the Christian world so much we tend to believe it. 

Perhaps God slams the door in our face and there is no window in the room. There is only darkness. Then just for no reason He builds a brick wall outside the door so that if we try to open it, we find a concussion to greet us.   RP often makes me feel like I am all alone in a crowd that will not let the door be closed. 

Darkness that closes in and attempts to claim our soul. Inspire  of songs   like “there is sunshine in my soul today” ringing in our ears, this darkness lurks like a lone wolf ready to gobble up every bit of sunshine.  The pain that engulfs my heart at this hour is so overwhelming.  The door is shut on the days when my eyesight allowed me to read music and play piano at the same time.  

The death of this ability leads me into a very dark room. 

The last Sunday that I was asked and foolishly attempted to read the hymnal and play piano was a very dark day for me. The realization that what once had been a “piece of cake” was now completely impossible has given rise to a deep cavern of anguish and fear. 

What is it like to go blind?

What is it like to give up what was once loved?

What is it like for things once easy to die? Is this death or divorce? Have my eyes divorced themselves from my brain and my fingers? There are days this overwhelming death of past ability completely engulfs me and shuts down my whole factory of operations.  

The death of my ability to shop was far easier to give up. I always hated going shopping anyhow. The grocery store to a tunnel visioned blind person is a nightmare. I could look for items for hours only to be pointed to the item right in front of me. I never enjoyed shopping. It’s difficulty rendered that doslikable years before the grocery section just made me cold and feel helpless. Might as well put me in the child’s seat in the cart, for all the help I am. 

But giving up music?

I remember the last few times I played for church choir. The song was The Revelations Anthem. The piano writing on the piece is amazing. But trying to help the choir with their parts and read all four lines while plunking out their notes…  that was nightmarish and led me to tears numerous occasions I was only thankful that God had somehow given me the ability to begin memorizing music. I had wanted that ability back in college but failed miserably and even flunked my piano jury because of brick wall brain!  

I still love that choir anthem and do not attempt to play it. It would be to devastating to my memory of when I was able. 

The hymnal brick wall is so…  I just wish I had another word besides death to describe this horrible feeling that slams into my chest. The tunnel vision does not allow me to focus on more that one note at a time. Hymnals are written in chord progressions that are common to multiple voice choir pieces. Imagine switching from reading the bass line to the soprano in lightening speed. The good eye does this automatically. Now put a straight jacket on a prisoner and tell her to beat the best boxer in the ring.  Impossible. My hands have been put in a straight jacket and I am blindfolded and I don’t even see the other boxer!  My eyes that once read all the choir lines and the piano (something like a conductors score) now can barely make out the alto line. 

And then I get lost. 

Once as a child I was in a department store in Bismarck Noth Dakota and sat under a clothing rack only to discover that my mother had wandered away. I hadn’t wandered away, mind you-she had! I distinctly remember the department store’s “man-hand” leading me back to my mother. 

I am lost. Without my ability to read piano music the panic sets in and there is no gentle hand to lead me back to my mother  this time. My mother-love of music is dead. 

I have no choice.  My eyes are continuing to fail me. The door has been closed. The brick wall has been built. The panic is still there. The loss is deep and wrenching. 

I ache for my love of piano.  In my own home I may sit and attempt to read a melody line and learn an old song new again. But in the ears of all others. No. 

My eyes continue to steal my joy from my fingers. If I close my eyes and just play. The memory takes over. Sometimes. Not  often enough. 

Another one bites the dust. That’s not a cool song anymore. It is cruel. Painful reality. 

I miss my ability to read and play piano without fear, without that lost feeling, without struggle, without crashing through the notes, without thus painful brick wall that ever casts such a dark shadow through the very tiny crack that is left in the gap of the door.  When others look at a tunnel they see the light at the end. I don’t. I see the narrowing end of this tunnel-like view of the keyboard as it is. The end of the keyboard. My view comes from the narrow end and fuzzes out at the wide end into nothing. The end.

It’s hard to enjoy this black and white world of music while my ability slowly fades into a muddy grey.. The light grows dimmer. The shadow lengthens. The door creaks slowly but surely towards the frame for a final slam.  And on the other side the brick wall is being built.  

And don’t tell me I shouldn’t be depressed. Death is never easy. No matter what kind it is. The death of my gift of music isn’t blossoming into something beautiful. It is a train wreck at the end of a dark tunnel. 

This is RP. 

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