Note to all musicians out there:
I am not, after three days of
playing, trying to play, learning, mangling chords on Vera (yes, I have already named her, and yes I realise how sad that makes me) identifying myself as one of you. Just read on for an explanation…
Now, back to the story.
So okay, yes I’ve named my guitar “Vera” and yes there is a back-story to that but it’s pretty boring so no you’ll never get to hear it.
And yes I’ve been
playing, practicing, making the neighborhood dogs howl in pain, destroying my flatmates will to live, with the guitar non-stop for the past 3 days.
And yes, this is all early days and the muso’s (that’s Aussie for “musicians”) out there will be smiling condescendingly at my puppy-esque like enthusiasm.
But you know what.
I don’t care.
I’ve always had a bit of a creative side. In my teens and my lost-early-twenties, I loved to draw and paint, then in my lost-mid-twenties I turned to dance. And all through that, I’ve always been a writer. I’ve always kept up some sort of journal. And now through blogging, writing is my main outlet for my creative side.
The one creative area that I never considered was music.
I never really had the opportunity to look into music growing up, cause well;
1) it was a bit too expensive (as a kid, while my family wasn’t what you called poor, buying a musical instrument would definitely been a luxury we could not afford. Writing involved a notebook and pen, drawing a sketchbook and some pencils, dancing only required a healthy body and a sense of rhythm. Even painting became a worrying expense to my parents after a while, as canvasses and oil paints aren’t cheap) … and;
2) it looked liked it would require far more discipline than my attention-span-of-a-goldfish-youth would have liked.
And a part of me was always a little regretful that I never gave it a go.
Now with drawing, painting and writing, for me anyway, it’s a more objective approach. You’re always an outsider looking in. Which suits the majority of my personality just fine. I’m an observer mainly. I like to see how people interact with the world. I like seeing the chaotic ballet of the falling leaves in autumn, twirling and leaping with the wind, struggling against the inevitable force of gravity. I like being able to take my impressions of the world, and put it on paper. While yes, you can get lost in the creation of something with words or paint or the pointy end of a pencil, there is always a part of you that has to be kept separate.
But sometimes you just wanna get lost.
Now dance, was something you could get lost in. I was doing street dancing. I learned first by just going out every night to clubs, and then later on started learning formally, and there were even a couple of times where I was teaching classes, when my instructor asked me to teach the younger class (when it wasn’t so blindingly obvious I was spaced-out on whatever drug I was currently on). But this was in my bad-boy early 20’s, and I was using every type of illicit substance under the sun, so that feeling of utter joy in abandoning everyone and everything, is mixed with the shame and regret of being as high as a fucking kite while doing it.
And so now, after 33 years of dodging the musical bullet. I’ve finally entered into the world of music.
And I love it.
I love the feeling of just getting lost in an instrument, in music and in trying learn and to master something totally alien from my normal everyday humdrum life.
I love the feel of the guitar nestled on my lap.
I love the pain in my fingers, after practicing chords for 2 hours straight.
I love that practicing boring chords for two hours straight feels like 5 minutes.
I love that I have something to do, when I’m feeling too energetic to sit down in front of a computer screen or the TV, but not energetic enough to actually go out and do something.
I love how I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, and I still love doing it.
I love that even with my attention span of a hamster on meth (yes, I’ve upgraded from a goldfish) that even after 3 days of struggle, frustration and knowing that I’ll never be as good as I really want to be, I still want to keep playing. This is from a guy who previously, could easily walk away from any activity that he couldn’t master in the space of 2 hours (coding in C++, I’m looking at you).
And sure this could just be the musings of puppy love, but somehow I don’t think so.
And I know I’m so far away from being “a musician” that if we take geography as a metaphor, with the space in between the respective cities representing the difference of skill level between myself and a competent musician, I would be living in Sydney, Australia and competent musicians would be living in the wonderful city of Grblxt on the planet Melmac located in the Aldente Nebula in the Andromeda Galaxy.
But I’ve got a spanner, a couple of bottle rockets, a big cardboard box, some duct tape, and a hankering for the stars.
I’ll never get there, and I’m going to look like an idiot for even thinking about attempting it, but damn if I’m not going to have fun trying.