A tiny moment of pleasure. Scene: The Street Outside An Acupuncturist’s Clinic on Palmerston Road, Southsea. Time: 3 p.m. The shop is divided into the clinic, and a private living space, and the door to the living area has been left open.
As I walk down the street I hear the sound of a piano being played, and passing an open door, see a little Chinese boy of around 5 years old intensely concentrating on the keys of a piano as he falteringly produces the tune to “Camptown Races”. I stand by the door and listen as he works his way gradually up the keyboard, changing the key as he proceeds.
A still moment. The traffic and people pass by outside, and he is totally focussed on his music. He’s not brilliant at what he’s doing, and he makes mistakes. But he corrects his mistakes, and carries on, teaching his fingers to pick out the notes in a certain order. I absorb his total concentration, as if it, too, is emanating from the room on to the street. Sensing him totally absorbed, feeling his way – learning, co-ordinating, learning, persevering. The sound is not pretty, but enchanting – and it tells a story.
We live in a muddled world, and that makes it fun, too. That little Chinese boy lives in a Victorian house in Southsea, where the English general public are treated with Chinese medicine, and plays a Black American tune on an old German piano.
I stand and enjoy.
These are the little pleasures of life.