The corridor, like a tunnel you could not see the end of it, had the advantage of being warmed by warm light sliding gently through the windows on the right wall of the hall.
In her playful silence, each ray of light played unhindered with the strands of dust rising to the ceiling. Only my footsteps could be heard beating an emotional rhythm and breaking the silence in a sharp echo.
From afar, the chords of a piano guided me to the room where I wanted to reach. With each note I was closer to the meeting place.
My footsteps stopped in front of the door. For a few moments, I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and with it I pulled into my chest the whole perfect combination of notes from an amazing Chopin score, then I opened my eyes, knocked on the door and entered.
The music room was not very big or too crowded. The piano was at its center, enthroned like a king over the whole room. A few score music stands, shelves with scores, a large window with blue butterflies painted directly on the glass, portraits of composers on the walls and the silence, the silence that grew up when I entered.
I stepped toward the piano.
With his hands resting on the keys, with his face raised and turned towards me, with his body placed correctly in front of the piano, this is how I would draw it today and frame it into a picture of unforgettable moment
”Hi! I’m Adriana”, I said and bent down, taking his hand in mine and making it easier to find me.
”Hi! I’m Antonio!” A serene, warm, good voice answered me, a voice I will never forget. I also saw his gaze as he looked for me, noticed his curiosity on his face and his eagerness to meet me.
Between the two of us, I was probably the most excited, but his curiosity about discovering each other was stronger than mine.
Antonio was only 12 at that time, he was blind and an excellent pianist. That warm May day would be the beginning of a unique and exceptional journey.
“Do you want me to sing you something?”
“I would like to,” I confessed sincerely.
And he sang to me his favorite pieces from Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy.
While he was playing, without scores, knowing exactly where each piano key is, I was fascinated by his beautiful, secure hands who slipped into a musical flight without insecurity, fear or restraint. If you hadn’t looked at his face, you wouldn’t have thought for a second that his eyes had never seen the light of day, the blue of the sky, the butterflies painted on the window or the piano he mastered like a king of music.
Antonio was one of the 21 blind and partially sighted children with whom I built a wonderful radio theater project. Together with him and some musicians, we built the soundtrack of the five Romanian fairy tales included in the project. The other children were voices of the fairy tale characters, building role after role, and proving to everyone that the voice can overcome any barrier, even that of sight.
Although he was only 12 years old at that time, Antonio unknowingly became my teacher. I learned from him how blind people read with their fingertips, how they see faces and objects by touching them, how they have a great memory, remembering a lot of things, stories, numbers, how they know and understand your emotions, anger or joy by just listening to you, listening to you very carefully.
Along with Antonio, I learned the innocence of a man who never saw the face of evil also the permanent desire to discover, learn, dare. We have built many wonderful stories together all these years.
Now Antonio is 18 and he is preparing to enter college and be a great musician.
If you’re still wondering how Antonio changed my life, then close your eyes for a few minutes. Suddenly, the surrounding objects, which you can no longer see, become obstacles and a fear of the unknown overwhelms you…LISTEN.