Maybe if I put it in my bedroom….

I started to say “Naw, that won’t work,” but I just remembered twice when it did work. The what will or won’t work is putting in my bedroom the thing I need most to be doing. Of course, that varies, but it nearly always involves piano.

The way it works, theoretically, is that you put whatever it is in the bedroom so that it’s unavoidably there in your face the instant you wake up. It then becomes a reminder on the one hand and an accuser on the other. At its best, it becomes the most convenient route to achieving whatever the goal is.

It’s Worked Before

Has it worked for me? Usually.

Not counting the experimental nonstarter (though still a contender) at the Alexander to use the wobbly wheeled printer stand as a desk, it’s only failed me once. That once was when I put my first NordicTrack treadmill in the Pine Cone bedroom upon moving there in 2007. It was in-your-face all right, but that only enabled it to become a clothes hanger instead of a piece of exercise equipment.

But it worked during the final Emory years, 1989-90, when I put a folding table and hutch in the bedroom on Myrtle Drive as I struggled with writing the dissertation. Totally successful. That was also the golden age of my gospel music collection, with the summer of ’90 being like the summer of ’67 was for soul music in Los Angeles.

Going back to the very first time and its success: I bought a secretarial desk from Abt Associates and put it in my Beckwith Court bedroom–with plenty of space to spare! Took my first writing course there, a Writer’s Digest correspondence course, and began forming the notion that I could be a success in school and as a writer. The academic credentials stand as a witness to that part of the success, the writing career not so much.

It’ll Work Again

I don’t actually have to put the piano in my bedroom to make it work. It’s got its own little niche in the dining room section of the open-living-multi-use space. It turns out to be very comfortable there, and I’ve probably played it as much there in the few short months its been there as I played it all the time it was in the Thompson Road basement.

I believe that if I think of its present location as a contemporary version of the in-your-face strategy that it will actually work. So, as JB sang, “Nothing beat a failure but a try.”

“I’ve never felt anything that moves me as much as my piano. I’m an emotional player. I don’t really like people. I prefer my piano to people. It’s totally reliable and it’s alive. I can hear what it’s saying.”
~ Tori Amos



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