Family Life Personal

I’m your piano. Play me

People play each other like pianos ... some tinkle your lighter keys, others clang your darker chords

I’m a writer.

There, I’ve written it.

It has been read. By you.

So I’m a writer.

Do you know how hard it is to write that down and put it out there? Risk ridicule, or worse, indifference?

Maybe you do.

Yes, I’m a writer. Giddy now, really pushing it. But please understand, it’s been inside me, unclaimed, for so long!

Some months ago I decided I would publish a new blog piece every Monday, and I have stuck to that.

Dinner or not, we dine at 1, so rattle those pots and pans …

Publish and be damned. Or maybe it’s publish or be damned.

Of course I try and come up with something I think people will read, but sometimes I just get lost in the actual writing. And only find out what I am writing about when I write it.

Of course I edit and revise before I publish, but that’s kind of a separate thing. Well, connected but distinct.

Before I actually write, I prepare my metaphorical paint, and the canvas that is my computer screen is laid out pristine before me.

Now I must contemplate some more, all the while swishing and stirring these symbols I have poured onto the palette in my head, thinning, thickening, smoothing, getting the shades just right, before that thrilling, take-off moment when the first brushstrokes splash out on to the virgin canvas.

Oh, but these words are so squishy and delightful, the paint dripping down my fingers as I dib and I dab, I wipe and I redo, and carry on and on across the page, over and back.

Somehow these lovely squidgy, splodgy splishes and splashes fill the canvas. The words that come out are black and the background is white, but just as sunshine is comprised of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet, there is a whole rainbow in every letter.

It’s there, dear reader, and hopefully you will find it. Maybe that’s what texture is.

Like the more abstract artist with his flourishes I genuinely don’t know what I have written until I stand back from my canvas, read it back, and think about it. Even then I’m not sure.

There are two different kinds of editing, I think, the colder, calculating one after the painting is “completed”, and then there is the deleting and rephrasing I do as I am actually writing.

It’s like that thing you see painters do where they pause to examine the work in progress. They cock their head first one way, then the other, step back, and step in to add a little tint of red here, wipe the brush, and maybe warm that blue with the tiniest flecks of orange.

Something to do with getting the tone right, the feeling. It can’t be explained, can only be felt and applied. Because it seems right. It has to be right.

It mightn’t be right in 10 minutes, but it’s good for now.

So I paint and I peruse, adjust and continue until eventually I am satisfied enough with what I have written. Or at least satisfied enough to publish it.

Fretting all the while then, and long afterwards, that I have said what I want to say, said it as well as I can, and people will read it, and respond.

I am hugely interested in that wonderful creative space between what is written, and what is actually read. How people interpret things so differently.

And also how we are actually different people according to who we are with.

I am thinking how people frame whole relationships around aspects of the other that they seek out and relate to. They find what they look for in each other. And are drawn in or repulsed.

Love and hate, just different parts of the same person, accessed at different moments.

I thought about this the other day when I had a shouting match with my daughter. I won’t say about what. Or say anything about her. As I said I wouldn’t.

What was significant, I felt, is that in those moments, as we ranted and traded insults, we were both guilty of the same thing. Relating only to the negative parts of each other.

Soon afterwards I was calm enough to see that while we were rowing, I wasn’t talking and reacting like a complete gobshite, I was a complete gobshite. That’s what she had elicited from me, and, yes, vice versa.

The remarkable thing was, after we had said all the awful stuff to each other, and after a simmering moment or two, the two of us and A, my wife and her mother, went off to complete our shopping.

And we began to laugh and banter, all three of us, and father and daughter, as we went about throwing in an extra bar of hazelnut chocolate into the shopping trolley here, and taking out that second packet of honey roasted peanuts there. We were pushing completely different buttons in each other

Imagine you are a piano … and each person that comes to play you, plays you differently …

Some tinkle your ivories lightly and playfully, drawing forth a jaunty, airy melody. They like the bright, light springier notes. You are that jaunty piano.

Others are drawn to your deeper, dirgier notes, to your darker, more reflective chords. You are also that more sombre, even melancholy instrument.

I don’t play music so I’m not going to push this metaphor too far … it’s just the idea … some people just bring out the bastard in you, or like to mess with your head. Others know you a little better and like to hang with Mr Inbetween.

I’m Enda the writer. Play me.

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60 comments on “I’m your piano. Play me

  1. great insight into human relationships!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoyed your post. I appreciate your art and tap my toe to your tune. I am pleased to have discovered your blog and will come back again. #bigpinklink

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for saying so — I’ve just visited your blog and I love your Nursery Whines handle. Hard to resist a good pun!


  3. I couldn’t agree more, Piano Man

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Now you have me a dilemma, which post will I pick to submit for the Awards??
    I painted (and played the piano) for years before I ever wrote and it’s amazing how the creative process is the same in all. I love how something is created separate to ourselves, something different to what we imagined or didn’t set out to make when we began, the end result often takes us by surprise – a bit like our children! #mixitup


    • So true … even though I neither paint nor play piano. I do love that being taken by surprise factor so much. Don’t forget to submit one anyway! Get a friend to submit the other! Sneaky, eh?


  5. Nodding along and agree with the message X #bigpinklink

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is an interesting metaphor for relationships. And quite right too. Makes you think how you play others also. Thank you for joining #BigPinkLink

    Liked by 1 person

  7. We’re all Pianos, Kirsty … and piano players!!!


  8. Seán Mac Aoire

    The interconnectivity of it all! Piano is one instrument,the pen another, the brush, the chisel, the baited fishing rod, the…use your imagination, joins us to the medium. Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lovely insight into the creative process – part of which is knowing when to keep tinkering and when to leave it – as well as human relationships


  10. Nice of you to say so Tubbs … I can call you Tubbs? … I agree on the whole thing around tinkering and letting the piece, whatever it is, go. I’m a devil myself for coming back to something I’ve written and changing something, usually something tiny no-one else would notice, or care less! Just as I find it hard to let an argument point go, even at the risk of hitting the other person over the head (metaphorically, I might add!!!).


  11. I like this a lot. Brilliant. #BloggerClubUK

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This is utterly beautiful and as with so many of your posts one I will want to return to again and again. You are most definitely a writer and an amazing one at that. #BloggerClubUK


    • Such a lovely thing to say Kate … I’m tempted to commend you on your good taste, but I’ll just bask in the radiance of your lovely compliment1


  13. It’s lovely that you enjoy the creative process of writing so much and can describe it in such a poetic way. For me, writing is just a necessary evil which I have to go through to get my thoughts from my head into someone else’s head! An unavoidable tool (which is also what I’m sure my wife would call me)!

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s a few of us in the “unavoidable tool” category!! LOl Thanks for your delightful observation … I’m sure you are underselling yourself, if you are writing it’s because you want to and need to. That’s what writing is all about. Yes I like the flowery stuff a bit, but it’s not the most important part … it’s getting, like you said, what’s in your head out there and sharing it

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I bloody loved that! I can relate to your slanging match with your daughter completely. Often, even mid said slanging match, I realise this is happening in an out of body experience kind of a way – powerless to stop it. Strange. Anyway, excellent WRITING. I wish I could be so eloquent in my own work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you David … I would also admit there was nothing remotely eloquent in what I was saying to my daugher mid-row!!!LOL


  15. Enda, you are indeed a writer. Don’t stop. Don’t doubt. Oh and … fathers and daughters might battle, but as the daughter side of that equation, I can tell you, it can all work out beautifully–I adored my father. #blogcrush


  16. How nice of you to say so Jean. I do hope and pray it works out between us … I’m quite happy to start with respect … we can worry about adoration later! Lol


  17. shelbeeontheedge1

    I absolutely love this piece so much! You have described my writing process to a tee. And all the while I thought I was just a strange bird who viewed writing as a painting of sorts. As we dib and dab our way through all the beautiful, amazing words in the English language. Finding exactly the right ones for the message we are trying to convey. And the relationship part of this is equally brilliant. I am so fascinated by the interactions between people and how each and every coupling or grouping has an entirely different dynamic from all others…completely unique to itself. So, so good! I, too, am a writer. There, I said it and you read it!




  18. You sir, are a wordsmith! I cannot seem to make Hubster understand the very large amount of time I spend crafting my posts. Rewrites and reworks, fitting the words perfectly. Keeping time so that my humor hits at just the right moment. It’s an art! #GlobalBlogging

    Liked by 1 person

  19. An interesting take on the creative processes and human interactions – great post #thesatsesh

    Liked by 1 person

  20. This is very thought provoking #satsesh@_karendennis

    Liked by 1 person

  21. diynige

    Fascinating way to look at relationships loved it mate Thank you for linking to #Thatfridaylinky please come back next week


  22. I’m strolling back in with the #DreamTeam linky!


  23. Daydreamer mum

    I am so fascinated by the concept of how we are different people in different peoples company! I once read a fab article about how the character trait that wind us up in other people are often because we tearecognise them in ourselves and the same goes for what attracts you to someone can also be because you recognise traits of your own character! I think there’s something in that #globalblogging


  24. I was saying this to Hubby yesterday, we had a blazing row and in minutes we were laughing and it was like nothing had happened. Some people just know how to push buttons dont they?
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back next week!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. This is beautifully written from the heart #satsesh@_karendennis

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Lucy At Home

    A very thoughtful piece, Enda, as always. I love your analogy of painting colours on your canvas #blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

  27. RaisieBay

    It is all creativity, whether paint or music or writing (or any other talents, I like to crochet, does that mean I hook people in?) My writing style is very similar to yours, only once my heart has poured out on the screen it ends up put on the pile marked drafts and I go and write something that I think other’s might prefer to read. I’m not as brave as you, putting it out there, but I think that’s why I like your writing. You are not afraid to say things the way I think them, and you have a talent for getting people to understand you. (something I lack, or have no self confidence in.)
    As for the piano, I’ve had my keys bashed so hard I like to keep the lid closed.
    Thank you for being a writer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sounds like you are being very hard on yourself … the way i look at it, there is a certain anonymity in posting online, so I don’t mind putting out my stuff on a forum such as this. I figure I might as well write as I want to. Of course I want to be read also, so I do my best to make it interesting as well as indulging my creativity! For what it’s worth I would say go for it: you will attract people who appreciate writing.


  28. #thesatsesh I love a metaphor and I also like (much like art) that I don’t always like the words I read. I guess that makes it subversive, challenging and somehow improves the communities that we live within.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Mackenzie Glanville

    You never cease to impress me! I find it hard to say I am a writer and yet I am, just as I find it hard to say I am a nurse yet I am, when I don’t feel I deserve a title because there are those I see who are so much more talented than I. Yet still I am worthy of those titles it is my negative brain trying to play tricks on my intellectual brain. We are all artists, in one way or another, my daughters both paint so beautifully and I am in awe of their talent. I love the metaphors you used here, especially the way we play each other. They way we produce different music from different people. You are extremely talented! #ablogginggoodtime

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Mackenzie. I have struggled … and still do … to claim the status of writer. But putting it out there was like there’s no going back, it’s out there now! It also can be such a negative space to get sucked into to compare ourselves with others. I would rather concentrate on my own voice. However good or bad it is


  30. I enjoyed reading this post, it’s very lyrical and does a good job at explaining what the writing process is like. Like you, I often don’t know what my writing’s going to be until it’s finished (which can be a bit frustrating sometimes)

    Liked by 1 person

  31. That put a smile on my face! You are right about the piano – especially with our nearest and dearest.Thanks for joining in with reasons to be cheerful

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Found this post again this time via Reasons to be Cheerful linky. Spoke to me in a different way today the anniversary of my brother’s death a year ago. I was struggling and at his funeral his last song was “I am what I am” and with that I was at peace. We have to be who we truly are and that way sanity lies. #R2BC

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gosh, a lot to ponder there. So sad but I guess you are right we have to try and be our best authentic selves. Even when it’s not the easiest of paths to walk. So sorry for your trouble


  33. midlifesinglemum

    Dear Writer,
    Me too. A writer I mean. Feels good to be a writer doesn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

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