Day 21. The well tempered clavier #sol19 #solsc

slice-of-life_individualMarch 21st:

As usual, I have a plan for what I think I am going to write (or not) and circumstances drive me to a completely different path. I open my computer. It catches my attention today’s Google doodle. It is the first AI powered doodle in honor of Bach who was born March 21 (old style). We can honor him again on March 31st since that’s his birthday in our current Gregorian calendar. 

As soon as I saw Bach’s name, I remembered my mom. I decided to put the Well Tempered Clavier in Spotify in her honor. She loved this entire piece of art. I heard it many, many times during my teen age years, during my twenties and finally during the last 15 days I was with my mom before she died of cancer eight years ago.

As soon as the music started flooding the quietness of my house, a torrent of tears went down from my eyes through my cheeks. Some of them made it to my lips, and their saltiness caught me by surprise.

Every time my mom saw me sad, she invited me to lie down in her bed, and close my eyes. She put the well tempered clavier, and started giving me a soft massage on my back. Magically, I could leave out all my sorrow. I remember the music entering through my pores, invading my body in a way that gave me permission to cry and eventually reach the peace needed after a broken heart.

The last days I stayed next to my mom´s bed, I volunteered playing Bach. She nodded.  A sullen look and an arrhythmic breathing were part of her painful process of leaving this world. When doctors told her that it was just a question of days, she was battling hard, but tired of the waiting. In one point, she gave up and told me she just wanted to die. Still, she felt the need to hold back a little longer to give my dad some time to process the fact that her turn was first.

I pressed the play button.  The music floated tenderly in her room. Her frown started slowly to disappeared, her breathing  got steadier, the wrinkles on her face faded and a gentle smile invaded her face.

My mother always wanted me not to leave her side, and that day I was holding her hand after 22 years of not being with her. This time, I was the one who did not want her to leave my side.

Bach can make miracles, and bring my mom back to my side, blending each other melancholy on a mutual consolation. Every time I feel sad, but can´t get my feelings out, I play the tempered clavier. It´s infallible.

My mom loved to be a grandma.
ww Con la Pía en busca de su destino (Small)
At the airport in Santiago, Chile, when I left my family to go to the US with a Fulbright scholarship. My mom and I were the only ones wearing more colorful clothes. It was July. Winter in Chile. I found this photo on my dad´s computer. The photo has a caption and it says: “With Pia, in search of her destiny”.






14 thoughts on “Day 21. The well tempered clavier #sol19 #solsc

  1. I loved that you allowed yourself to change course with your writing. Your piece is sad, but there’s so much love in it. Even the pictures and the captions contain the love– and the sadness too when you were leaving.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The reversal of who was doing the comforting you describe in this piece is so well-done, Pia. I, too, sat bed-side while my mom took her final breaths, losing a battle to cancer. So I can definitely empathize with the moment you describe. “Her frown started slowly to disappear, her breathing got steadier, the wrinkles on her face faded and a gentle smile invaded her face.” What a beautiful moment. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lanny. I was very lucky at the time, since my school let me go to Chile for a month. I was able to stay with my mom during her last 15 days, and then another 15 days with my grief-stricken dad.


  3. This is so beautifully written. Those last moments at your mother’s side made me weep.
    “Where the words leave off, music begins.” I don’t know who said that, but your slice today exemplifies the powers of music and love.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful unraveling, healing in this piece. The story felt musical like your subject. I always wonder about sympathy phrases like “they will always be with you.” In the moment (when I am grieving), this feels cliche to me, but in your story, and in many moments of my life, that is, in fact, quite true if you let it be. If you let Google doodles, songs, voices, phrases, places allow that person to sit beside you in that moment. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Bach can make miracles, and bring my mom back to my side, blending each other melancholy on a mutual consolation.” I love how a simple Google reminder can spark such a beautiful memory. And this line….chills!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s