Thursday, December 24, 2009

A story, a song



If you see a girl with a treble clef at her throat or a grand piano around her wrist, this might be the story behind it.

My being at the markets is a rare occurrence, and my buying things (non-food, non-essential) things at them is even rarer because Sydney craft markets tend to be expensive. But on this cloudy, UV-heavy Saturday I had set aside a small amount of mad money to be used in the event that I saw something I liked.

Well, that didn't happen.

I did see and buy something -- two things -- but not because I liked them. It was so much more than liking them at sight; I knew they were mine long before I even saw them. Does that sound like something a stalker would say? Fine, then. As long as all I'm stalking is small objects of 925 silver, I think society can handle it.

For a few weeks, I'd been wanting a new item of jewellery that had something to do with music -- something that I don't just love, but rely on. Come to think of it, I see music the way my mother viewed coffee. I can quote her, practically verbatim: "Coffee is my everything. It gets me up in the morning and helps me to sleep at night. When I'm at work coffee perks me up and helps me stay focused."

Hearing variations of the same theme on almost a daily basis for years is bound to make one memorise that theme.

But just substitute "music" in there and you have me. OK, I know music isn't my everything because I also have dance and chocolate and reading and lavender and fluffy animals and all the other things that have the same effects on me, but music means a lot to me. I know I am in really, really bad shape when I won't sing and won't listen to a song. Ironically, the cure for that state usually involves forcing myself to do either one or both.

Anyway, I had been reflecting for a few weeks on how much music means to me, and I'm a girl, so my mind tends to wander over to jewellery when considering ways to commemorate something so significant. I did my research, but everything I saw was either cheap and hideously distasteful (according to my taste) or exorbitantly exquisite. Since I am at present, but hopefully not for much longer, still a Mostly Unemployed Student, I couldn't afford the latter and wouldn't settle for the former. I stopped looking and decided it could wait until that one day when everything would fit into place and I'd see something I could afford and could wear in public without first having to sign a blood pact with some clan organisation.

So, when I spotted the treble clef in a tray of silver odds and ends, you may imagine that I felt someone had placed it there for me. The price was friendly, and I got out my wallet to pay. And then my eyes fell on...

... the grand piano.

A tiny silver grand piano.

See, another dream of mine, years older than the one of owning a piece of music-themed jewellery, is to own a grand piano.

Although that most probably will happen one day, clearly it hasn't happened yet. And given the way things had been going of late, my faith as it stood that warm December day was rather too depleted to reach the grand-piano compartment in my trunkful of dreams.

I knew I had to get the piano, too. I got the two charms for a song (bet you saw that one coming!), less than I'd budgeted for just one. And, along with the answer to my recent quest, I got a hint to my future, a key to not being so Cranky and Easily Upset over facing my post-Master's future.

I'd gone to the market that morning to accompany a friend who'd placed it on her Must Do While In Sydney list. I'd prepared myself to browse and not buy. I'd allocated an amount of spending money so small that I wasn't expecting to find anything in that price range. In the same way, I'd shrunk the space around my self. I'd made myself into something that filled the cracks in my clients' and friends' lives, but didn't have a lot left over for me. I concluded that what I wanted might have to wait, so in the meantime, why not treat it like an aimless walk through a market full of beautiful objects that I couldn't afford?

As I walked away with my new treasures, cheap trinkets to anybody else, I saw how it was about so much more than jewellery. I learnt that day about knowing that my dreams are remembered. And that the desires of my heart are recorded, even when I've given up on receiving them.

If you see a girl with a treble clef at her throat or a grand piano around her wrist, this might be the story behind it.

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