The Piano Recital (excerpt)

I knew as a child that music was the portal to joy. In my house growing up there was always music coming from the living room radio tuned to Chicago’s classical music station. My older sisters put on their tutus and danced. My father, when he came home from work, danced. It seemed, this music, as solid and unmovable as the piano and the bookshelves that were built into the walls—as if the music were part of the plinth of the house. Later there were the sad songs, the loopy songs, the bosom-heaving songs that we sang at camp, the heat of the fire in our dirty faces.