Sunday, January 23, 2022

This Old Guitar

My old guitar finally gets some attention

In John Denver's song, This Old Guitar, he sings that his old guitar has "brightened up some days and helped me make it through some lonely nights." 

I have my own old guitar. 

My mom bought it for me when I was in high school (or perhaps junior high). I carried it to lessons in a house I remember well, even though I recall nothing of my teacher. I learned songs from my John Denver songbook and little ditties like "Oh, Suzanna." Along the road of life, I was pulled into other interests and stopped my lessons. Yet, I continued to bring my guitar with me wherever I went. 

It was there, leaning up against the wall in my tiny studio apartment on West 47th Street. I never played it, but thought it looked very cool. It traveled with me to a larger apartment on West 51st where it also sat untouched. Eventually, it landed here in my dream home only to gather dust once more. My old guitar patiently waited in our guest room for over 25 years before I gave it some attention. It took my mother's passing, a brilliant book written by my friend Esther Kim, and a global pandemic for me to pick it up and start making music again. 

With renewed motivation, I had it restrung and balanced. I found a wonderful teacher, Justin Rothberg, who indulges me in my song selections, while teaching me technique and music theory. Our sessions are all on Zoom and it's been a great experience thus far. Learning and playing have been forms of therapy and healing. Lately, my favorite moments in life have been playing and singing along with my partner, Ed. Ed is always willing to appease me and suffer through the halts and hesitations in my playing as I learn to go from one chord to the next seamlessly. 

I've been embracing creative outlets more and more lately. My introspective questioning about life always seems to go back to the need to love, create, and express. It appears, for me, that peace can most readily be found there. 

As for my old guitar, I'll wrap this post up with another line from John Denver's song..."Oh, what a friend to have on a cold and lonely night." 

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