Making A New and Joyful Sound

In so many ways it feels like a new life to me, after surgery. And a new life is best expressed in new sounds...

A lifetime ago, I trained as a classical guitarist, starting to play at 9, taking my first lessons at 12, and continuing them in college, where I minored in music in addition to my two majors, Religious Studies and Psychology.

For many years, I was absorbed in practicing, writing music, and playing at the various colleges and universities I attended, and where I also worked in Campus Ministry. But in my late twenties, some time after having my son, all that stopped, since I really no longer had the time to play. So I did something radical. Since I did not feel I could adequately practice, I quit playing altogether, and hung my guitar on the wall. And there it remained, until a dear friend of mine, a former musician, simply looked at me and said to me in horror: "You've hung your guitar on the wall? Like a piece of art?"

So, I took it down and made a foray or two back into playing briefly, but I still didn't make the time to practice and frankly, to relearn everything...

A week ago today, I attended a concert with this very friend who challenged me about hanging my guitar on the wall. We had both followed Mindy Smith for years, and we delighted in our front row seats where we could literally interact with her. I was consumed with Mindy's playing and the joy she exuded. I remembered that feeling...

Later in the week, some friends who are also musicians and teachers visited me. We got to talking about guitars, and before I knew it, I went to bed dreaming of guitars. One made its presence known in my heart.

And so yesterday I went in search of this guitar, and found "her," a 3/4 "Little Martin," and brought her home. I had never owned a steel stringed guitar before.

The sales guy who graciously helped me laughed when I refused a pick and propped the little Martin on my left thigh, instantly knowing I had been "classically" trained. And though I tried other guitars, I kept gravitating back to this one, though I bought the one that no one had ever played before, straight out of its box, and not the one hanging on the wall...

I bought this guitar for me. To make a joyful and new sound unto the Lord. I did not buy it to play professionally, or for anyone else. And only my dear friend, with whom I attended the Mindy Smith concert, was able to recognize this, when she acknowledged that a new friend had come into my life. She knew that I would now make "Divine Music:"

"How exciting! A new friend to welcome in the new era. The Martin sounds just perfect. It will bring you much joy to play for the love of playing. For you. What you want to hear. For your heart. For God. Enjoy every minute of getting to know her."

Yes - it was not about playing for others It was all about praying in a new way - in a way my heart had prayed for many years.

In the words of St. Irenaeus: "[S]he who sings, prays twice."

I cannot explain how symbolic surgery has been for me. Something ended, and something began. My dreams are filled with images of dying, and rising and giving birth. It is all very interesting to me and I have a sense that its meaning will unfold in due time.

For now, I am going to quietly enjoy my new friend and companion. I think I am going to call her "Cecilia Saraswati" - in honor of the Christian patroness and Hindu goddess of music and the arts.


Erin said…
I love your guitar's name! Beautiful!!
Doug said…
Enjoy the new guitar!
Anonymous said…
Olga, I hope to hear you play someday :) Sheila
yogainthegarden said…
Completely awesome!!

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