Beauty and the Beast on the cobbles

This image, photographed today at 12 noon approx (on Friday 7th September 2018) pushed some powerful thoughts to the forefront of my brain. 

Number One: What is that beautiful thing lying against a communal rubbish bin in Marchmont, one of Edinburgh’s more prestige areas?

It’s a piano, carved (possibly by hand by a master Turner, skilled in the art of wood sculpting), with its ivory keys ripped out and left in situ its strings amid the shell. I played its strings for a while in the street, and they sounded perfect – no keys needed, just my fingers strumming them. They were taut and full of song, as though they wanted to sing and be beautiful, knowing full well they had been abandoned to the street.

I wanted to take this piece of beauty home with me, but don’t have the space. It was lying next to the rubbish bin filled with the excesses of our addiction to consumption. 

This piano has a story; it was crafted by someone, sold by someone, played by someone, played by many. It has been witness to political upheavals, family tragedy, tears, joy, laughter and bad weather, and now it lies on a Marchmont street waiting for the council’s uplift service where it will go into ‘recycling’ or maybe if it’s lucky, ‘upcycling’.

It might end up as a bar in a trendy new Edinburgh establishment. It might be broken up and salvaged for shelving units, it might be taken by some soul walking along the street, who like I, wanted to claim it, live with it, love it. 

Everything begins and everything ends and in between is glorious life. The piano on the street is symbol of all that. 


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