Piano Memories

“..they both looked shyly toward the piano…”

—Rainer Maria Rilke, “A Childhood Memory”

A Childhood Memory

Advancing darkness lent a richness to the room

in which the boy sat hiding, waiting silently.

And as the mother entered, dreamlike, suddenly

a glass kept trembling in the silent cabinet.

She sensed the room’s betrayal of her presence

and saw her son and kissed him: Are you here?…

Then both looked shyly toward the piano,

where many an evening she had played a song

that strangely moved and touched him deep inside.

He sat quite still. His wide gaze never leaving

the hands that seemed quite bent down by her rings.

As if they were through heavy snowdrifts ploughing

while traversing the whiteness of the keys.

Rainer Maria Rilke, “A Childhood Memory”

“A Childhood Memory (2)” monotype, 5x5 inches

“A Childhood Memory (2)” monotype, 5x5 inches

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Rilke’s poem, “A Childhood Memory.” The images from this poem have been lingering at the edges of my consciousness for quite awhile. It’s almost as if they have an actual presence, like they are people longing to become visible to me. And yet, if I turn to face them, they hide, obscured by shadows that shift and change. So, rather than forcing the creative process, I’ve been courting these images in a playful way by making monotypes. My belief is that these monotypes will lead me to something new and surprising, possibly even a series of paintings. Here are some of the results of my explorations so far:

“A Childhood Memory (3)” monotype, 5x5 inches

“A Childhood Memory (3)” monotype, 5x5 inches

“A Childhood Memory (4)” monotype, 5x5 inches

“A Childhood Memory (4)” monotype, 5x5 inches

“A Childhood Memory (5)” monotype, 5x5 inches

“A Childhood Memory (5)” monotype, 5x5 inches

“A Childhood Memory (6)” monotype, 5x5 inches

“A Childhood Memory (6)” monotype, 5x5 inches

“A Childhood Memory (7)” monotype, 5x5 inches

“A Childhood Memory (7)” monotype, 5x5 inches

* 100% of the proceeds from “A Childhood Memory (1)” will go to help buy new sheet music for the students at Ridge Street Elementary School, a public school in a high-need community in Newark, NJ. My sister Karen is a music teacher at this school (K-8). Please consider contributing to this good cause which helps bring music to children!