Frank and the Piano
Frank often sat all alone at his piano and played. He played about the wind, about the spring and its fragrant flowers, about the first kiss – even though he did not know what a first kiss was, or how it felt. Somehow, he did feel it. Frank played about the snow and ice, about dark nights, and about the darkness brought about by people: a darkness which carries pain.
And that very moment – when Frank played the human pain, the darkest part of the soul – that was the hardest to bear for the Giant. The Giant felt his heart would break into pieces. He cried so many tears that a flood arose, and even his own house began to float on those teardrops, which made the Giant terribly angry.
Nobody can tell how long it lasted, or how much longer it would have taken if one day Frank had not begun to play differently. He played grimmer, darker, deeper.
Frank had finally found someone to whom he could entrust all his long-kept and profoundly carved suffering and pain. He had found himself.
It was as an entire regiment of daemons crashed on the Giant. It could have smothered him. It could have trampled him and turned him into smidgeons, into particles of dust. It was so overwhelming he could not shed a tear. It felt like a vicious storm rising, when the air sparkles with the intent to destroy. He was so frustrated that he thought – moreover, he was convinced – that he would not survive Frank playing his piano. He would die there, in his own house, alone since time immemorial, lonesome for ever and ever.
And then the Giant wailed. He wailed from his heart. From his soul. From his entire being. He wailed so hard that the night descended immediately. Even the sun got scared. He wailed so hard his scream blazed like thunder, cooking the air and the sky into a terrible storm. Tears swirled in his eyes, raising a proper tsunami.
The tsunami broke into everything. It took the piano along: Frank’s piano. Only Frank remained, miraculously sitting on his piano chair rushing about, to draw out another deep and painful tone. He kept his head bent, his hand in the air, intent on playing the deepest sound ever. And who can tell, perhaps it would have been his last note ever. But then he got up, slowly. He listened, carefully He lowered his hand, cautiously. And he stared.
There was nothing around him. Wherever he looked, there was only water. It blanketed everything. The Giant’s terrible groan was the only thing that remained. His sob. Frank felt it as the deepest tone of the piano. The one which makes the lungs tremble.
Then came a sound from which not only the chest and lungs tremble, but the entire body. Frank felt himself bouncing in place, without any intention to jump. Everything crashed. Frank just managed to cover his ears and cling to a wall.
This was the Giant, trampling around with his big steps, wailing and muttering loudly. The little birds that remained on tree branches now flew frightfully, giving out a warning that something terrible was going on.
The Giant did not know where or why he was going. He just trod around. He cried like a wounded beast, like a lion facing the horrors of the imposed limits of a cage. His bulky feet trod almost without noticing the wreckage he was making. His steps wreaked havoc, his tears flooded all directions, his despair turned into tears and sorrow. He strode until he reached Frank ’s home.
Then the Giant stopped. He fell silent. He stared.
Frank was huddled against a wall, still pressing his palms to his ears.
It was surreal to see Frank and the Giant: Frank, sprawling and trembling, and the Giant, towering over him with his horrible height, with a painfully sad sigh that had come out of his soul.
And then the Giant sat down. He sat down and stared at Frank.
Frank slowly peeked, still shivering, thinking that the sky had collapsed, and the sun had disappeared. Perhaps the whole world had been crushed. Who could tell what he would see when he uncovered his ears and looked out?
Frank felt tremendously confused and rejected. For the first time, he realized, he was all alone. He had none of his own. Without his piano, he had nothing to protect him. His soul and heart were open raw. And he was squatting, curled up in front of a Giant. A terrifying Giant.
Frank was shocked, scared to the limits of his endurance. He dared neither move nor even open his eyes.
Who can tell how much more we would look at the frightened Frank and the terrifying Giant, had the Giant not decided to speak? With a voice as tranquil and soft as he could manage, he said, “Frank, look at me. Open your eyes and look at me. Frank!”
Frank opened his eyes carefully, listening to the Giant’s words. Then he gathered all his courage and asked, “Who are you? Why did you come?”
The Giant assumed there would be many questions after these initial two, so he settled down even more comfortably. He realized he had forgotten his pipe. For, on the days when Frank did not play his painful heart and soulful melodies on the piano, the Giant sat comfortably in his house, or under a big tree, and quietly enjoyed his pipe. He enjoyed the peace and quiet.
And the Giant was right. Frank really had a lot of questions. Millions. Billions. Countless, better to say. It was already dark, and the night grew older, while Frank asked away. The Giant kept answering. He told him everything. Who he was, and where he was from, and why he had come, and whether he had anybody of his own, and why he was a Giant, and why he had cried so bitterly and devastatingly, and finally why the tsunami had taken away the piano.
“You played too sadly; Frank dear. If I had allowed you to play that darkest tone, our souls would go out, both yours and mine, and perhaps some more as well. Who can tell? And now we will never find out. But it is better so. Let’s be friends. What do you say?”
Frank agreed. They shook hands to seal the deal. Frank offered his little palm, and the Giant his big one. Both firmly clenched the other one’s hand. The Giant tried hard not to squeeze too tightly, and said, “Now, let’s go. Together.” And so, they did.
Whoever sees Frank and the Giant as they walk side by side, they should know that Frank is steadfastly stepping through Life while Courage steadily goes beside him.
And what has happened to the piano? It might be playing somewhere far away, resounding notes in bright rainbow colors. Listen carefully the next time you see a rainbow.