Thursday, June 08, 2006

sayonara guitar

i learned to play guitar in college from my buddy mark, a music theory/composition major. the allure and enthralling of the guitar drew me in instantly. the attempt to grow callouses on my fingers did not. and so i took my cue from a line in bryan adams' prolific song about "playing until his fingers bled in the summer of '69." they never bled, but they burned.

it has also been an epic war- the instrument of choice (piano then guitar) VS. my fingernails. they grow very quickly, sneakily. i remember mrs. johnston and her numerous cats that would circle around the piano as she would slip snacks into her mouth during my practice sessions at her house. my last session with her involved her cat "bunny" in my lap, as she refused to let me "scratch her baby grand" and wouldn't let me play until i had cut my fingernails. they won that day. the instrument lost.

so when guitar came up as an enticement in college, i asked my dad if i could borrow his, just in case i changed my mind about it, then i wouldn't feel guilty if it went neglected. during that particularly robust season of my life, he gave it to me. and i in turn gave it to a homeless friend of mine named shawn, trying to make a living for himself on the streets since he wasn't dealing marijuana anymore and had gone clean. i wanted to support his choice and help him support himself. it was the right thing to do.

the other day, a few months ago, i looked at the guitar i bought in grad school, which had experienced many days of me getting the notes to sing vibrantly to God in worship. i crafted two songs during that period- one gone for now and the other forever etched in my memory. it sat against my wall looking forlorn, begging to be played. i never wanted to be one of those people for whom the guitar is decoration and that is what it had finally become.

thus my choice to part with it. it was time. it was the right thing to do. and before my first potential buyer came to take a peek at it, i played the strings which were a bit offtune. and i fell back into the lull that the guitar draws you into, akin to the zone a runner gets in that feels so satisfying, all of life in the standstill of a moment. i had my closure with my instrument and felt a bit of separation anxiety upon seeing it go, but it was the right thing to do. my fingernails, long and the color of a tahitian pearl gleamed in their victory.


Blogger Sandra said...

We have one of those decoration guitars at our house, too. Glad you let yours go. Glad you fixed your sidebar finally, too. You didn't even need my help!

3:16 PM  

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