I have been looking at alot of guitars lately. As in many aspects of life I need “accomodations” (or so I think). Parkinson’s disease has made me “special”. I was looking for guitars with a bit shorter neck, a bit narrower body. I looked at my first acoustic guitar. It was my brother’s. He sent it to me for my 16th birthday. There was a lot going on in my life at that time. And not all of it was happy. The guitar gave me joy and helped heal some of the wounds. Music does that to you, you know. That guitar is no longer playable. But I remember its first major scar. We were at Meadowood for a SEARCH retreat, staying in a small lodge which has a sleeping loft. Someone knocked a pop bottle off the balcony and it skidded across the face of the guitar and left a long scar. Funny, I remember that incident so well, and that it left a scar. I don’t remember the songs I played that weekend.
Fred, playing his jazz guitar, wears a bracelet bearing his son’s name. His beautiful teenage son died in a swimming accident. The loss of a child sucks the breath out of the parents. Fred works on those wounds through writing jazz . His wounds are still open and bleeding. Someday they will heal over…into scars. The music helps him through the dark nights.
The old guitar maker called and invited me over to try out some guitars. First he had me play the first guitar he made for himself. It was full of scratches and dings … much like himself who for so many years had toiled and labored to make a living. This guitar has autographs. . The autographs of friends, bluegrass and country artists… autographs on his heart…memories of good times that more than erase the scars on his arthritic hands.
The young man guitar player let me try his cherished guitar. It has been replaced for daily playing, but he will never part with it. I felt honored to place my hand and around its neck and feel where the oils of his hand had worn into the wood. Holding the guitar I could see the dings on the face and scratched up pick guard. Scars you would never notice from a distance…scars that are apparent when you are close enough to embrace.
I looked at my current guitar. It has some dings in it that I put there. Its just starting to develop its character. The scars aren’t deep. They are not obvious unless you get up close. They are my scars. I think I will keep my guitar …I think I will give up playing other’s guitars. I have my own scars.