Zen and the Art of Loving Your Guitar (a little too much)

So, I was inspired recently to “make love not war” with my guitar. We’ve had a few bumps in our road to harmony lately but I am determined that we will be able to put these differences aside and move forward to a more healthy and satisfying relationship for the both of us.

Most of that sounds like total crap to me. I’m sorry but it does. A friend of mine (who I’m pretty certain doesn’t bother to read my blog) was trying to coax me back into playing and gave me the rather bizarre advice to think of my guitar as “a friend. You are in a relationship with your guitar and there will be fights and bad times but you have to work through it to build a stronger bond together.”

Now, I have no problem being existential about things but this really felt like bullshit from the moment he said it. It pretty much seems to me that my guitar just lies there depending on me to do everything. I don’t know what kind of relationships he’s used to (and I have no desire to go into that discussion with him.) But regardless,  I’m thinking; he knows better than I and I am willing to follow any advice I can get so I’ll give it a try. I’m going to look at my guitar like another person and try to develop a connection with it.

Once again there is where people who know me are already laughing. First of all, inanimate objects usually cause me trouble. Second, I’m not really the bonding type of person. I tend not to trust anyone and I don’t make a whole lot of friends.  I find relationships with people to be awkward, uncomfortable and usually not worth the effort. I’m not trying to sound heartless; it’s just the way I am, very guarded. My mind works in logic more than emotion which explains my college nickname, Mrs. Spock.  So the thought of me attempting to grow a “relationship” with a guitar when I can rarely even do it with another human being seems far fetched.

But I determined that it was worth a shot.  When I got some “alone time” with it I decided to treat it more like I would a new friend.  Upon reflection of this encounter I can now see why I have very few friends and almost no close friends. I tried to smile at it at first, to put it and myself at ease but it didn’t appear to work. I thought that maybe if I was a little more gentle with the way I handled it, instead of tossing it around like I tend to at times, that might help a little.  I even went so far as to try to tell it a personal story about myself but the situation was just too ludicrous.  I have little doubt that the fact that I found the whole idea ridiculous got in the way of making a whole hearted attempt. But I did the best I could. I feel it’s now time for the guitar to make the next step.

Alright, I’m kidding about that last part.  While the making of  “a relationship” with the guitar sounds like crazy talk I do think that on some level I know what he means. But I don’t think it’s something I can just sit down and do. It will take time and effort and an openness on my part that doesn’t come naturally. However, this experiment did make me contemplate the very few people that have been brought into my life and with which I was able to find a connection. I wondered how they managed it. How did I manage it?  What was so special about them? Mostly, I think it was because they took the time to really get to know me and allow for the fact that I wasn’t going to get close to them very easily. They gave me the time I needed without ever giving up on me. I think that’s something my guitar is willing to do. But it can’t just be sitting there like an ornament.  I need to feel like it’s calling to me. So, I came up with the perfect solution. What’s the one way to guarantee that I will do something? Easy, tell me not to do it.  So now my guitar is sitting in my living room in constant eye view holding a little signs that declares, “You will never play me.” Oh, the hell I won’t!

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