Our own self-image is one of the hardest things from which we must sometimes learn to part.
My family gave me this guitar sixteen years ago for my 42nd birthday. It was an expensive and lovely and completely unreasonable gift. The kind you give an adult-man-child who thinks they know who they are but is just slightly—or, in this case, wildly—off the mark. I wasn’t a guitar player then, and I probably wasn’t going to become one anytime soon, expensive guitar or not. I had neither the time nor commitment required to become better, but was happily engaged in this unrealistic false narrative I was writing of myself. A fairytale fantasy leftover from playing make believe, perhaps. But still.
I got my first guitar and learned a handful of chords my freshman year of college. Forty years later, I am stuck mostly still with those chords—fat fingered, at best; this pathetically rompous, unrhythmic strum pattern, and the cruel-but-honest knick-name, A-chord, which my youngest child provided me with when she discovered, after years and years of having to occasionally listen to me scratch out a tune, that I was a complete and delusional fraud.
So, you can imagine my family’s disbelief and consternation when I hesitated (read: adamantly against) about getting rid of the guitar in preparation for our move to Sicily. I eventually came around, as we all eventually do when we consider ourselves with open minds, and sold both of my guitars—yes, two—to a musical firefighter from Oregon.
Selling something so cherished was one of the great reminders of just how I needed to think as we undertook the next step. Things don’t bring you joy—damn you time, you bastard of broken promises—experiences do.
The musical experiences we've enjoyed here so far leaves me feeling pretty inspired, especially with the many friends who gather together to play. Which is to say perhaps I was a little bit hasty in unloading my Martin guitar. So, if you're listening Mr Oregon Firefighter...
Or anyone else, for that matter, who finds their own six-string collecting dust in some out-of-the-way corner of their house, let's talk.
Because who am I?
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