Thursday, May 29, 2008
Yes! I Can Play the Pipe Organ!
From the time I was a small child, I always felt as though if given the opportunity, I could sit down at a pipe organ, and instinctively know how to play, how to utilize the stops; all of it. I was never given that opportunity as a child, and it wasn’t until five years ago that I even began the process of learning. As a child, I somehow managed to keep that burning desire somewhat satisfied by listening to albums that featured “The Mighty Wurlitzer” or church music. As a teen, Rod Argent from Argent/Nexus and Rick Wakeman were popular for surrounding themselves in the recording studio or on stage with keyboards and various organs. One of my favorite albums still today is Rick Wakeman’s “Wives of Henry VIII”. I would put on my stereo headphones and imagine me making the music! I could get lost in that type of fantasy for hours. As an adult I have been to many organ recitals at various churches, and have even been to San Diego's huge outdoor pipe organ.
It must be at least five years now since Joel and I found a Hammond Elegante at an auction house in Mesa. When the auctioneer got around to its turn on the block, no one bid! I looked at Joel. This was a $20,000 organ when it was new in 1985. All of the original paperwork from the sale was still with it. The organ itself was huge, and in beautiful condition. He said, “Do it”! And I got that organ for just $300. Because of the many features on an Elegante, to me it was nearly as good as owning a pipe organ. Hell, I could get it to sound a bit like one. At least to my ears anyway. I gradually learned to play. And yes, it did come very easily to me. That sense of how to play was there, inside me.
When Joel ended our relationship, I went to live with my sister Christine for awhile after I got out of the hospital and from there to a small one bedroom apartment. I couldn’t keep my beloved Hammond Elegante. I listed it on eBay, and it sold for around $2000. I was heartbroken. My organ was gone.
I listen to classical organ music quite a bit. I used to be somewhat ashamed of my love for the sound of a pipe organ. But not anymore. In fact, Christopher enjoys sitting with me as we relax and enjoy the music of Bach. Just like when I was a kid, I close my eyes and lay my head on Christopher’s chest and make believe it’s me playing. Instinctively I know which fingers need to be on which keys; I know what pedals to push with my feet.
This counts as one of those unfulfilled lifetime dreams doesn’t it? I look on craigslist almost every day at the organs that are for sale. I would love to have one. I’m not giving up on this dream. I am putting it out to the Universe, that I still wish to play the organ and that I am opening up opportunity and space in my life if it is meant to be.