Scars and guitars

Scars and guitars….
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.







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Published by Carol Clupny, author Ultreia Books

I am a middle aged woman with Parkinson's Disease. When I was first diagnosed I spent a lot of time researching the disease. Seeing a video of a man in the advanced stages of the disease attempting to get out of his chair and then "freezing" as he tried to walk across the room got me off my butt and moving. Great adventures on the Camino de Santiago and with TEAM Pedaling for Parkinson's across IOWA, as well as the day to day adventures of life have lead me to writing. My first novel, a memoir, will be published early 2019. It is called, you got it THE RIBBON OF ROAD AHEAD. Living with the degenerative neurological disease Parkinson's, ULTREIA is a word that guides me. I have chosen it as the name of my business ULTREIA BOOKS. It comes from Latin and old French and means "unfailing courage". In the old days, pilgrims would call "Ultreïa" to each other as encouragement "Go up, go further!" Nowadays we would say "You can do this thing". It takes courage to live with Parkinson's. May I face each day with unfailing courage.

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