pianos and privilege


I have memories of waiting for you while you were at your piano lesson at Lena’s house. I only ever went to/in the front door every so often at the end of your lesson to gather you. I remember she had such a light, lovely house. During your lesson, I often used to walk along Short Beach, or do my homework, or something while you were there. Mom was somewhere nearby, I guess, but I don’t really remember. I suppose I have vague memories of collecting shells or building sandcastles.

I wonder – did you often have to wait alone (or not) for me as I was engaged in one of my lessons? In so may ways I can’t imagine being the mother of three in such a time and place as where we grew up, but as my friend Yulia said, “Kids grow everywhere.” And time changes. And I’m just a privileged white kid. (But I think my standards aren’t that high? – certainly not compared to most (new) Russian girls I meet…)

(Max just made delicious creamy mushroom puree soup. Yummmm.)

It’s funny being in your 20’s. College is such a bizarre thing, (and I can’t imagine what boarding school was like) and then your’re thrown into the real world and everything shifts. You’re ‘expected’ to do so many things – by your job, family, friends, world around you. Some people get caught up in the stream and move along quickly; others jumble from one rock just to get caught up against the next. There are so many different variants, none necessary right or best. And “kids grow up everywhere,” right? Who are we to say that our summers of Garrison/Last Chance Cheese candies or Twilight Day/Silver Lake summer camp were “better” than those of others? Or that our no-TV, healthy and diverse meals, and outdoorsy lifestyle were worse? Everyone has their own experiences and own stories, but if we can’t try to be empathetic or at least be patient with one another, we can never understand and certainly never learn. Bits and pieces of the human experience turn out to be “right” and “good”, but no one ever can be made only of the ‘good stuff.’ We can learn and adapt and/or embrace tradition for tradition’s sake.

I personally can’t believe how much I’ve changed and the world around me has shaped me over the course of my years. I remember a few excerpts from my life and am enthralled each time a past me makes an appearance. I am so fortunate and grateful for the chances to have exposure to so many different lifestyles and cultures that have influenced my opinions and the way I live. I guess I have recently reclaimed CT as where I’m “from”, but usually it’s simply “the North-East” of the US. Not New England, not New York. Both, but specifically upstate NY and south central CT. Despite living across the globe in places far and wide, my heart still beats for these places. Although, simultaneously, I can’t divorce myself from the allure becoming intimate with different lifestyles and customs. There are bits I like to incorporate into my own way of living, as I sort out how to live right and well in this world.

Loving you!



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