Never Too Late

Sunday, July 30

I'm sitting in bed sipping my 3rd cup of coffee.  I've turned off T.V.  The news never gets any better.

Without conscious prelude, a word appears in my mind's eye.  I see it, clearly, not in any context, but rather as if hanging alone in the middle of an otherwise blank screen: 



Hmmm.  I wonder what that means.  It's a word I associate with clouds.  So why am I thinking about clouds this morning? 

I glance out the window where the bright July sun casts stark edged shadows under the eves of my studio and the wide serrated leaves of the mulberry tree.  No clouds out there. 

I sit with my coffee, puzzling.  Are clouds hovering over my inner landscape?

Aha! A sudden insight.  Early this morning, I chanced upon a quote from Nietzsche in an email:  "Without music, life would be a mistake."

Those seven words hit me like a gut punch.  Between the ages of 16 and 50, my life was a mistake. 

I quit piano when I was sixteen.  Later, when it was time for me to go to university, I made a point of choosing a school that had a weak, bare bones music department.  I didn't want to take any chances with being pressured (or tempted) to study piano again. 

Why did I quit playing the piano?  No mystery, I know exactly why.  The sad truth is, I couldn't bear to play the piano any more while Daddy was alive; I had to wait until he was dead.  

Daddy was an unrelenting perfectionist.  For him, my performance at the piano was never good enough. I withered under Daddy's critical eyes.  Music, which had always been my first love, also became my greatest fear. 

I'm not over that old fear.  I still feel the tension in my body when I sit down to play piano and I only play in the solitude of my studio which is detached from the house and private.  I don't even play or sing for my husband or sons.  They never hear a note out of me.  No, I create and record my music in complete isolation.  The only sharing I do is via the internet when I toss a recording into the world wide web as if tossing a pearl into the ocean.

I don't pretend to make money in music.  I don't.  Nor do I seek widespread recognition. I have only two goals:  1) recovery of the musical self I repressed for so long and 2) to respect myself as an artist and composer.  

I'm happy to report that, at the age of 65, I have belatedly accomplished both.  It's never too late. 


Here's a little preview of what I'm currently working on:  Ghost Waltz, a suite for solo piano.  Not finished or downloadable yet but free listening to the first four tracks. 



Be Well and Good Luck,

Martha Maria

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